Draftfcb NY Launches Somewhat Alarming Anti-Smoking Campaign for FDA

By Erik Oster Comment

Draftfcb is a launching a new youth anti-smoking campaign for the FDA, called “The Real Cost.”

The new campaign, the “first comprehensive tobacco education campaign using authority granted under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” aims to “prevent youth tobacco use and reduce the number of kids ages 12 to 17 who become regular smokers.” Based on the insight that almost 90 percent of established adult smokers began smoking by the age of 18, the multimedia campaign uses “compelling facts and vivid imagery” to attempt to change young people’s beliefs and behavior in regard to tobacco products. Among the approaches used in the campaign are a reframing of addiction as a loss of control and graphical dramatizations of the costs of smoking, such as tooth loss and skin damage. “The Real Cost” also uses social media to give teens a space to engage in conversations about the issue with their peers.

“Today marks a historic moment as we launch the FDA’s first-ever national education campaign to prevent tobacco use among our nation’s at-risk youth, and we bring to life the real costs that are of the most concern to these young people,” says FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. The campaign, which launches Feb. 11, will be evaluated for its effectiveness over time. It includes “television, radio, print, online and out-of-home advertising,” with ads running in more than 200 markets throughout the U.S. “The Real Cost” is “the first of several campaigns that the FDA will launch over the next few years, with subsequent campaigns targeting multicultural, rural, and LGBT youth. You can view the gross “Your Teeth” above, and stick around for “Alison’s Bully” after the jump.