CCF Breaks Anti-Tobacco Radio

Clarity Coverdale Fury uses prank telephone calls in a new radio campaign for Minnesota’s “Target Market” anti-tobacco effort, which is managed by and aimed at teenagers.

The Minneapolis shop won the two-year, $12 million contract last year following a review. A television campaign is set to break in a couple of weeks, said Jac Cover dale, creative director at the agency.

The campaign, like so much anti-tobacco work targeting teens nationwide, is not so much focused on anti-smoking per se as on simply providing information about some of the less savory baits tobacco companies use to entice teens into smoking, Cover dale said.

The prank call concept was “a way for [tobacco companies] to admit what they do,” as well as a means of “getting real reactions” from people when they find out what the companies do, Coverdale said.

In one spot, a call is placed to a clerk at a local mattress store, with the caller posing as a guilt-ridden tobacco executive who can’t get any sleep because he’s “responsible for things like adding chocolate to cigarettes so kids get over the repulsion of the taste of smoke.”

At one point the clerk says, “Oh my gosh,” when hearing of the executive’s plight. At another moment, he tells the caller, “That’s why you get paid the big bucks.”

Like others who received calls in the series, the clerk later signed a release form to allow the segment to be used on the air.

Other spots feature calls to a doctor’s office and to a newspaper’s classified advertising department.