KSV Intros Anti-Smoking Effort

Animated images of teenagers spinning records, dancing and snowboarding are featured in new spots from Kelliher Samets Volk for the Vermont Department of Health.

Dubbed the “Misperceptions Campaign,” breaking work consists of two 30-second TV spots, radio ads and collateral materials. The effort, which targets children 10-13, attempts to contradict the perception that most Vermont teenagers smoke.

Spending for the campaign was in the high six-figure range. Bur-lington, Vt.-based KSV added the $1.5 million account in March, signing a three-year contract following a review.

One execution shows a cartoon disc jockey spinning hip-hop music while teens dance. A voiceover says: “High schoolers in Vermont choose to do lots of different things. But most of us choose not to smoke cigarettes. About 80 percent of us don’t smoke. That’s nearly eight out of 10 who don’t. It’s just not our thing. We’ve got other things to do.”

Another spot, also animated, shows teens enjoying winter sports, such as snowboarding. The voiceover drives home the same message as the previous spot.

The campaign does not include a tagline.

The VDH hopes that by targeting preteens it can prevent children from picking up their first cigarette. It also wants to change the minds of those who have begun to experiment with tobacco, said Barbara Moeykens, social marketing specialist at the Vermont Department of Health in Burlington.

According to research conducted by the VDH, middle school students in Vermont think that most high school students smoke. KSV and the VDH relied on the input of focus groups comprised of high school students.

“Kids needed to be a part of the process … to make [the effort] authentic and real,” said creative director Bill Drew. “We’re trying to arm them with the facts of the reality of high school.”

Broadcast spots are running on cable and network affiliates in Vermont, as well as in movie theaters across the state; radio advertisments are running on Vermont stations that feature a teen audience.

The advertising campaign, including collateral material, is intended to drive young people to the campaign Web site, which is www.8outof10.com.