MINNESOTA PARTNERSHIP FOR ACTION AGAINST TOBACCO | Adweek MINNESOTA PARTNERSHIP FOR ACTION AGAINST TOBACCO | Adweek
Advertisement

MINNESOTA PARTNERSHIP FOR ACTION AGAINST TOBACCO

Advertisement

Tobacco has a lot to answer for. Between the cigarette ads and the anti-smoking commercials, it has brought us some of the most tedious advertising on earth. The brand ads are remarkably dull, as if tobacco companies are afraid to say anything interesting. The anti-smoking commercials tend to have a hectoring, know-it-all tone. The spot shown here is effective because the smoker it shows is presented as a decent (albeit very unfortunate) human being. It takes the form of a home video the young mother is making for her baby to view years hence. "Hi, Emma. It's mommy. And this is you. Emma, mommy's really sick. So I wanted to do this so you'll always know how much I love you." And the mother sings "You Are My Sunshine" (one of the most plaintive songs around) to the infant. When she's finished, onscreen supers clarify what we've seen and give the call to action: "Be there tomorrow. Stop smoking today." The video is heart rending, while the unadorned presentation keeps it from veering into the maudlin. At the end, a female voiceover offers sympathetic support rather than the usual browbeating. "If you're ready to stop smoking, we can help you quit. Call us today." (The organization's number appears onscreen.) Viewers who smoke will feel the spot treats them respectfully even as it gives them the most powerful sort of reason to change their ways.