Legacy Puts New Spin on ‘Truth’

NEW YORK The creative team crafting the American Legacy Foundation’s “Truth” anti-smoking campaign paid a visit to Washington Square Park and Union Square here last week to shoot a fresh round of ads set to break early next year.

One spot features numerous bear traps baited with cigarette packs. Most of the traps were harmless props. One real trap was guarded to prevent people from stepping in it and potentially losing a limb.

Actors on the shoot appeared to be around 19 or 20, slightly older than the demographic the spots are trying to reach.

“We cast aspirational characters that teens would want to be,” said Nicole Dorrier, Legacy’s senior director of marketing. “We aim at the 12-17-year demographic. We use people who are little above that because they [the demographic] look up to their older brothers and sisters.”

The organization asked Adweek not to reveal other specifics of the shoot because, according to a Legacy, “The tobacco industry watches and reacts to everything we do.”

The five-spot campaign is being shot by Tom Kuntz, a director with MJZ who did the well-regarded Skittles “Beard” commercial in which a man’s beard exhibits a mind of its own during a job interview.

John Kearse, creative director at Havas’ Arnold, has been working on the “Truth” campaign for the past seven years. Of the new ads, he said: “Maybe what we’ve presented in the past has been a little aggressive. [This time around, we said,] ‘Why don’t we look on the bright side?'”

Boston-based Arnold and MDC Partners’ shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami are the lead agencies on “Truth.”