72andSunny, truth Tell Teens ‘It’s a Trap’

By Erik Oster 

72andSunny launched the latest addition to its “Finish It” campaign for truth, tackling the issue of social smoking with the 60-second “It’s a Trap.”

The spot is set at a party, where a variety of teens communicate in different ways that they’re just social smokers and it’s not a big deal. Also attending the party, in a painfully obvious attempt at pandering to the younger crowd, are a variety of Internet memes, who inform each of the social smokers that “It’s a trap.” Before delving into the party scene, the spot begins with the message that “Half of people who try cigarettes in college still smoke 4 years later” and just in case the obvious message wasn’t obvious enough, it ends with the line “Social smoking is still smoking” and the hashtag “#ItsATrap.”

That the spot hammers home the same self-evident message for 60 seconds pushes “It’s A Trap” well into annoying territory (we know social smoking is still smoking, guys, that’s why it’s called social smoking). It’s a message that would have been better served by a 30 or even 15-second ad communicating the dangers of intermittent tobacco use, and stretching it out needlessly not only reaches a point of diminishing returns but actually could alienate viewers who otherwise might respond to it, negating its possible positive effect on current social smokers due to the ad’s overkill.