STATE OF FLORIDA ANTI-SMOKING PROGRAM

It’s not hard to see Big Tobacco as a villain when we see CEOs lying to Congress. But Florida’s newanti-tobacco spots take us farther down the pecking order as we follow a “Truth” squad of 20somethings on their incursions into tobacco-company headquarters. Adopting the Roger and Me style, the spots give us handheld-camera footage as the young folks present bogus awards to the companies’ personnel. In New York, they try to give the makers of Marlboro the Golden Sloth Award “for taking 50 years to figure out that smoking causes cancer.” It’s clever, as is thepresentation in Winston-Salem of a Golden Shovel Award to the marker of Camels, “for an outstanding performance in the burying of scientific evidence.” I’m just not sure it achieves the intended result. When we watch a baffled security guard trying to cope with the intrusion, the result is to humanize Big Tobacco, not demonize it. The title of the series could be “Smart-Aleck Young Folks Drive Around the Country, Ambushing People Who Work for a Living.” The structure of the spots leaves little room for righteous indignation, since that would come across as if the Truthers are browbeating these low- and mid-level saps. But it means we’re left with little but hip smugness. One comes away from the spots feeling Big Tobacco and Big Anti-Tobacco deserve each other.Agency

Saatchi & Saatchi, Toronto

Client

Toyota Canada,

Scarborough, Ont.

Creative Director

Bruce McKay

Creative Director/

Copywriter

Henry Wong

Art Director

Marco Parisella

Copywriter

Miles Markovich

Photography

Terry Collier