Major Message for Calif. Minorities: State’s Anti-Smoking Campaign Reaches Into Ethnic Communities

LOS ANGELES-On the heels of the recent nationwide attention on tobacco advertising, the California Department of Health Services has released the estimated $4 million ethnic portion of its anti-smoking campaign.
The campaign, created by three Northern and Southern California advertising agencies specializing in ethnic marketing, targets California minority groups: Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian-Pacific Islanders. The agencies were contracted through the state’s tobacco education general market agency, Asher/Gould Advertising in Los Angeles.
The Hispanic television commercials, which broke in markets around the state late last month, were created by Valdes Zacky in Los Angeles. One TV ad focuses on the effects of secondhand smoke on nonsmokers. The 30-second spot, entitled “Gravesite,” depicts a man and his two young children visiting the grave of their wife and mother, whose death was related to her husband’s smoking habit. Radio, print and outdoor supports the TV work.
The Asian portion of the campaign, created by Imada Wong Communications Group in Los Angeles, also focuses on the effects of secondhand smoke, as well as how the tobacco industry manipulates children into becoming addicts. “We had to counter the tobacco industry influences,” said Lucy Huang, an account manager at Imada Wong.
In one spot, a group of men is seen in a van on a road trip. As one lights up a cigarette, he is promptly ejected from the van onto the highway, which happens to be only 44 miles from “Death Valley.” Radio, outdoor and print supports the TV work.
The African-American campaign, from Carol H. Williams Advertising in Oakland, Calif., also focuses on similar themes in two radio spots and outdoor ads.
California recently increased its tobacco education budget from $49 million to $72 million over three years, according to sources.