To get under the radar of hardened smokers who block out health advice and opinion. They know that smoking is bad for them but, as with any addiction, they blind themselves to the effects on their own health and the health of others. As a result they are pretty immune to the standard ‘smoking is bad for you’ advertising which they deem to be ‘preachy’. They needed to find a fresh approach which would surprise them before they had time to block out the message. Very few smokers know that smoke from a cigarette is made up of over 4000 chemicals including hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde and benzene. The idea was to make smokers reappraise the highly dangerous nature of these chemicals by placing them in public places together with the hazardous warning signs that have to accompany them by law. The shock of seeing such a large group of chemicals together in town centres was compounded when it was further revealed that they are actually all present in cigarette smoke. The main aim of the chemical tanker was to launch the campaign which it did extremely successfully. It also generated £75,000 of free publicity with lead stories on the Guardian Media’s website and further extensive coverage on the BBC online, ITV, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland plus other local stations. Awareness of the poisons in smoke rose by 178%. The website received 62,467 unique visitors in just 14 days with 124,682 page views. 85% of people believed cigarette smoke posed real dangers while 58% of smokers took action to give up.
Agency: Ogilvy Group, London.