Innerwest Advertising & PR, Reno, NV
First, you find out why teens use tobacco products and ask them what would make them stop. Second, you might redefine the target and start earlier. The time between childhood and pre-adolescence is when images become personal morals. The most effective PR campaign might be regional, 'taking it to the streets' with peers and local influences. The campaign must be integrated through music, sports, and video game/comic book icons, but don't let the hype show. For teen smokers, health isn't the big issue?in their minds, they are invincible and immortal. The message has to touch them socially and culturally.
Chernoff/Silver & Associates, Columbia, SC
In college, I got a tour of the gross anatomy lab and saw what tobacco and tar do to healthy lungs. The experience cured me from ever considering using tobacco. That kind of consequence-related message would be gold for this campaign, which would be centered around the disfigurement and disability repercussions of continued tobacco use. I would push hard for partnerships offering a broad and deep appeal. It is easy for the skeptical public to ignore crucial, truthful data if they catch even the slightest whiff of self-interest.
Makovsky & Company, New York
I would focus the strategy on 'reasons to live'?smokers don't think about dying. The campaign would employ the family as role models, and would include three integrated, 'push/pull' programs to target generations that have had different exposures to tobacco. For the 55-plus age range, the message would be 'I want to see my grandson graduate.' For boomers, the pitch would be, 'I want to walk my daughter down the aisle.' For children/young adults, the number one target of tobacco companies, the message would be 'I want to be like Grandpa.'
Levenson PR, Dallas
As the father of a teenager, I see the tremendous influence that media and peers exert over teens and pre-teens. An effective strategy might be to create partnerships with media such as MTV and VH-1 to spotlight real-life examples of accomplished teens and young achievers from all walks of life. If teens become aware of the tremendous opportunities and challenges before them through the words and accomplishments of captivating and colorful peers, we could have an effective package for an anti-smoking message that focuses on the benefits of the positive choices teens make.