‘RAT’ TV Targets Pre-teens

Plastic Foosball figures become live soccer players in Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi’s new anti-tobacco spot, aimed at pre-teens, from Maris, West & Baker.
The ad is set in an arcade where three youngsters are about to play tabletop Foosball. As the game ball drops down an entry chute, it morphs into a soccer ball. Lightning then surrounds the plastic men on poles, turning them into real athletes.
The game be-gins but sputters as a heavy “fog” rolls onto the field. When the kids begin coughing spasmodically, play shudders to a halt. One athlete looks up at the children and shouts, “Hey! Stop smoking!” A voiceover then rails against secondhand smoke.
The spot, “Foosball,” ends with an athlete looking up at the young smoker and spitting out, “Rookie,” as he shakes his head in disgust.
This latest salvo in the Jackson, Miss., shop’s “Reject all tobacco” (RAT) series incorporates the RAT logo and a cartoon rodent icon.
MW&B creative director Eric Hughes said RAT is the first anti-smoking ef-fort aimed at pre-teens. “Kids get exposed to and formulate their core opinion about smoking at such an early age. We wanted to separate our brand from [Miami’s] Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s teenage brand.”
“Foosball” breaks this week and airs through September on Mississippi television stations.