QuitPlan “Everyone’s Monkey”

Cliches get a bad rap. After all, a phrase often gets to be a cliche because it captures some aspect of life in an especially vivid way. That’s true of the cliche about having “a monkey on your back.” Clarity Coverdale Fury makes good use of it — by giving literal-minded, visual expression to the phrase, complete with real-live monkeys — in this spot for QuitPlan Services, an outfit that helps Minnesotans quit smoking. With the voiceover acknowledging that, “When it comes to quitting smoking, everyone’s monkey is different,” the spot signals that QuitPlan doesn’t impose a one-size-fits-all methodology on the people it’s supposed to be helping. And that’s in keeping with a tone that’s more sympathetic than hectoring toward smokers. The blame for people’s smoking (and, thus far, their inability to quit) is implicitly assigned to the monkeys we see on the screen. It’ll look bizarre to non-smokers, but that’s immaterial. What matters is that the spot will engage viewers who do smoke and wish they didn’t. –Mark Dolliver