Legacy Creates A Darker Crazyworld

American Legacy Foundation’s latest anti-smoking spots revisit the “Crazyworld” carnival, but now, morbid humor shares the stage with a dead-serious scare tactic.

Two 60-second ads are “heavier and a little more cerebral” than previous executions, said Legacy evp of marketing Chris Cullen. Created by Havas’ Arnold and MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the effort includes print and Web ads.

“Disappeared” breaks Thursday on the MTV Movie Awards. Filmed at a carnival in Arizona, it shows a teen magician conducting a disappearing act. He persuades a mom in the crowd to get inside a box, waves his wand, recites a spell and reveals that the mother is gone—but, as her scared son looks on, can’t bring her back. He concludes, “Tobacco products make more than 12,000 mothers disappear every year. Welcome to Crazyworld.”

” ‘Disappeared’ has a message that is immediate to children, because one thing they think of is the well-being of the people around them,” said Alex Bogusky, partner and ecd at CP+B in Miami.

“Dizzy or Dead,” which breaks June 17, features a Tilt-a-Whirl-type ride and tells of a tobacco company that recalled batches of cigarettes because they made smokers dizzy. The spot ends as a teen says, “I guess dizzy’s worse than dead. Welcome to Crazyworld.”

The campaign, targeted at teens, aims to be “offbeat but extremely thought provoking,” said Cullen.

The spots are the first in a series that will air through September. Legacy spent $80 million in ads last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.