Ontario Ministry Of Health And Long-term Care Promo, Case study SOCIAL SMOKING CAMPAIGN by BBDO Toronto, Proximity Toronto


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Industry Anti-smoking
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Canada
Agency BBDO Toronto
Editor Brian Williams, Griff Henderson
Agency Proximity Toronto
Released December 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Charities, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages
Advertising campaign: SOCIAL SMOKING CAMPAIGN
Cinematographer: Bobby Shore
Editor: Brian Williams (Posterboy Edit)
VP/Associate Creative Direction: Deborah Prenger (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Art Direction: Graham Ameron (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Senior Flash Developer: Angela Wong (Proximity Canada)
SVP/Executive Creative Director: Carlos Moreno (BBDO Toronto)
Writer: Jonathan Weiss (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Art Direction: Eric Cicero (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Editor: Griff Henderson (Posterboy Edit)
Brand Activation Strategist: Paul Hanlan (Proximity Canada)
Production Company Producer: Kelly King (Soft Citizen)
Writer: Nancy Crimi-Lamanna (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
VP/Group Account Director: Peter Hickey (BBDO Toronto)
Art Direction: Stuart Thursby (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Art Direction: Deborah Prenger (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Account Director: Kerri Macaulay (BBDO Toronto)
Writer: Lins Ricon (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Account Director: Paul Forrest (BBDO Toronto)
SVP/Executive Creative Director: Peter Ignazi (BBDO Toronto)
Interface Developer: Robert Blayney (Proximity Canada)
Writer: Tony Lee (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
VP/Associate Creative Direction: Dave Stevenson (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Agency Producer: Dena Thompson (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Agency Producer: Jason Dick (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Agency Producer: Joanne Sincich (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Account Executive: Josh Adler (Proximity Canada)
Production Company Executive: Link York (Soft Citizen)
VP/Associate Creative Direction: Nancy Crimi-Lamanna (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Writer: Richard Weiser (BBDO Toronto / Proximity Canada)
Community Moderator: Stephanie Fusco (Proximity Canada)

The government of Ontario decided they could save tons of lives and health care money if they could get social smokers to quit before they got addicted. Their objective was to reduce tobacco use in Ontario to the lowest rate in Canada – from 19.4% to 15.7%, or 416,077 fewer smokers. Our target was occasional or “Social Smokers” between the ages of 18-29 who represent approximately 600,000 smokers in Ontario. But how do you convince someone to stop doing something they won’t even admit they do? They hide behind the term “Social Smoker”; they don’t even think they smoke. Strangely, no anti-smoking campaign had ever tackled this key intervention moment, although it makes sense, as over 60% of social smokers eventually become smokers. Our campaign took away their social safe place by using humorous analogies to show how ridiculous using the word “social” to justify smoking really was.

Within 2 weeks, we earned 117 million impressions, 2 million YouTube views and over 141,000 engagements. More importantly, we got people talking, increasing the conversation around social smoking by more than 8,600%. The campaign’s fresh approach was recognized in Ad Week, Ad Age’s Best Creative of the Day, Ads of the World, Mashable, Time Magazine, and The Huffington Post. CNN even called it “Maybe the best PSA ever.” Other interested parties, like Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, joined the discussion, volunteering their time and expertise. In short, we quickly created a robust discussion around the issue of “Social smoking”.

This campaign was social by nature – all communications drove to our Facebook page at quitthedenial.com. Paid media that drove to Facebook included cinema ads, online advertising, on campus posters and ads in restaurants and bars. Given our youthful target, leveraging social media was a natural choice for this campaign. Since peer groups wield such influence with this audience, we needed a forum where they could interact with one another, voice their opinions, and start a conversation no one was having. In addition to our social platform, we planned to intersect “social smokers” where and when they were most likely to light up. “Social smokers” typically choose to smoke on weekends when they’re out with their friends. By having a presence at weekend haunts like movies and bars we hoped to intersect “Social smokers” in the moment and have them reconsider their actions.