Webcast Anti-Smoking Challenge


Maris, West & Baker’s Cold Turkey Will Test 5 Mississippi Teens
ATLANTA–Imagine dying for a smoke on Big Brother.
That is what will likely happen when five strangers–three men and two women, ages 18-21–share a two-bedroom apartment from July 31 to Aug. 6, under 24-hour video surveillance.
Sound familiar? Think again. The five must make it through the week without the one thing they all admit they need to get through any given day: cigarettes.
These pack-a-day or more smokers will go Cold Turkey. The show is the latest effort in the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi’s teen anti-tobacco campaign, courtesy of Maris, West & Baker. It will be shown online as a week-long daily series at www.questionit.com/coldturkey, with nightly episode links e-mailed to a database of thousands of teens.
After each episode, viewers can vote about whether to bring stress or pleasure into the life of each participant. The tally will help determine the composition of the next night’s segment, edited down from a day’s worth of footage.
If all five young Mississippians go the week without smoking, each receives $500. That sum will be added to the total pool every time one breaks down and smokes, eliminating him or her from the Cold Turkey program.
“Potentially, one cast member could walk away smoke-free and $2,500 richer,” said Eric Hughes, creative director at the Jackson, Miss., shop.
Visitors to the Web site will also be able to participate in live daily chats with the cast and e-mail them messages. The site also has an image of each cast member, describing the effects tobacco has on specific body parts (all body parts), as the computer mouse scrolls over it.
Radio advertising promoting the Internet effort features the different cast members pleading, “Don’t go to the Web site. Don’t watch the show. Don’t make it any harder for us.”
The site goes live July 31.