Sedgwick Goes Under Smokers’ Skins

LOS ANGELES What if you could see what cigarettes were doing to your insides? That’s the question asked by the Washington Department of Health in two new anti-smoking TV spots from Sedgwick Rd.

The ads break on Feb. 17 as part of the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation campaign, which is backed by $5 million in media spending over 20 months. “Tobacco smokes you” is retained as the tagline.

One 30-second spot shows a young guy smoking and talking to his buddy. A male voiceover asks such questions as: “What if you could sit back and watch your lungs slowly blacken and wither?” and “What if you could see the cancer garden growing everyday, just beneath your skin?” Through the use of special effects, the ad shows his internal organs as his lungs turn black and his heart enlarges. He looks down and sees his diseased organs.

The other 30-second spot shows a group of young women in a restroom. One girl lights up a cigarette as a female voiceover says, “What if you had to look in the mirror and see the tar that’s building up in your lungs and your tumors grow larger by the day? What if you had to watch your body slowly but surely rot away? Would you still smoke?” As the questions are asked, black liquid tar oozes out of the girl’s mouth and large tumors appear on her face.

This is the second campaign from Sedgwick Rd. in Seattle for the client. Previous ads challenged the myths that smoking is relaxing or will make teens appear older. In both efforts, a camera followed cigarette smoke through a body to show damaged organs.