American Legacy Foundation is getting more mileage out of its 2004 "Shards O' Glass" Super Bowl spot, putting it back on air this summer and launching a new campaign based on the original concept comparing the dangers of tobacco to a product filled with glass.
This time, in a series called "Back in Business," CEO R.L. Vanderlin, portrayed by the same actor who appeared in the ad six years ago, pitches a line extension called "Spheres," a candy-like, glass-filled product packaged in a bubbly bright box decorated with smiley faces. Adult consumers asked for them, he tells the camera as he strolls through a city park, so, "We took the same quality broken glass shards adult consumers have come to expect and put them into these fruity, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth treats . . . for adult consumers." Young adults on a nearby bench are shown laughing and enjoying the new "treats." When a young boy runs up to him and asks for some candy, the CEO corrects him in his emotionless rote manner, "No these aren't candy, these are for adult consumers in adult consumption situations."
The point, of course, is to stress the fact that the tobacco companies are producing products that may appeal to kids. In case that's not obvious, the ad ends with the copy, "What if all companies sold products like Big Tobacco." On the truth Web site, the smiley-face logo has a name, Mr. Winky, and offers tips like "Talk to your kids about not licking. They’ll listen." And "Glass shards are beautiful, but they can be painful."
As cute as he is, the entire glass-pop revival may be short-lived. The next ad, breaking in September, announces a product recall, a nod toward wishful thinking for similar action from the tobacco business. --Eleftheria Parpis