KSV’s OVX Ads Skewer Hollywood

Kelliher Samets Volk takes aim at Hollywood in a new TV campaign for Our Voices Exposed, a youth group committed to fighting Big Tobacco and funded by the Vermont Department of Health.

“The kids [at Our Voices Ex-posed, known as OVX] wanted to target smoking in the movies,” said Mike Hannigan, copywriter at KSV, Burlington, Vt. “[The spots] take a farcical look at Hollywood.”

Three 30-second ads airing in Vermont skewer the movie industry for making smoking prominent in films. KSV plans to introduce longer versions of the spots in local cinemas next year.

“Acting Coach” shows a woman teaching a theatrical group how to look natural while smoking. “I teach actors how to smoke. I knew early on that I wanted to teach … teach smoking. I help them become one with their cigarette,” she says. A concluding voiceover informs us that, “Smoking rates in movies are three times higher than reality. Is Big Tobacco trying to hook teens? Get the facts, go to ovx.org.”

A second spot, “Prop Guy,” introduces a burned-out movie worker discussing all of his cigarette paraphernalia. “I’ve got all the props: ashtrays, cigarette holders,” he says. “I’ve got a cigarette for any kind of character, tough guys, leading ladies … Without us, Hollywood would be nothing.” The effort closes with an admonishment: “Big Tobacco loves it when actors smoke. That way, more teens will think it’s cool to smoke.”

The commercials are intended to help teens and young adult smokers “take a look at an area that hadn’t been [ex-plored] before,” said Barbara Moeykens, a social marketing specialist at the VDH, also in Burlington. “We wanted to point out to youth that they should be suspicious of smoking in the movies, that they are [potentially] being manipulated.”

KSV has worked with OVX, a division of the VDH, for two years. Collateral material supports the current TV campaign.