Every year, 10 March is designated as National No Smoking Day. On
this day, smokers are encouraged to give up their nicotine for 24 hours
- and maybe even for life.
To tie-in with No Smoking Day this year, Chupa Chups - the world’s
biggest-selling lollipop brand - ran a tightly-focused campaign which
took advantage of the interest generated by No Smoking Day, while at the
same time supporting it as a worthy cause.
The campaign was devised by Chupa Chups’ retained agency, Red Rooster
To raise awareness of Chupa Chups and give the target audience the
chance to sample the product, while simultaneously injecting a little
humour into No Smoking Day.
The thinking behind the campaign is that lollipops are already used as
therapy to help smokers kick the habit - experts advise that it helps to
have a cigarette-substitute to keep your mouth occupied if it is what
you are used to.
Chupa Chups did some promotional work with Your Health magazine for
National No Smoking Day 1998, but for 1999, it decided to go for an
all-out sampling campaign.
Chupa Chups has been targeting the 18- to 35-year-old audience for some
time now, with the objective of winning new stockists in clubs and
Several activities featured two drag queens, Betty Boogaloo and Celeste
West, who inspired the theme of the campaign: The Last Drag.
A task force for the sampling drive was created, featuring the drag
queens, a sexy male and a sexy female, a Chupa Chups-branded jeep and
placards bearing the words ’Don’t Smoke, Suck’.
The first stage of activity involved a photocall of the task force and
informing the targeted venues of the group’s impending appearance.
National newspapers were contacted to discover whether any staff were
trying to give up smoking, and offered a photo-opportunity with the drag
queens as well as the chance to sample the lollipops. The task force
then visited the media, distributing press releases, photographic
material and various flavours of Chupa Chups.
This was followed with a day of guerrilla activity as the task force
took to the streets of London. Strongly branded with the Chupa Chups
logo, the team visited a large number of bars and clubs offering patrons
the chance to try a free lollipop if they surrendered the cigarette they
were smoking. Venues in the busy Covent Garden and Soho areas of London
In the course of the promotional tour, the task force chanced upon
celebrities including singer Boy George, who agreed to be photographed
with the Chupa Chups, adding to the library of celebrity Chupa Chups
suckers which had already been built up.
Although there are no statistics yet available as to the number of
smokers who quit following their encounter with the task force, the
campaign has had quite an impact.
The task force handed out some 5,000 Chupa Chups, and analysis suggests
that the campaign was seen by an estimated 50,000 people.
While the main aim of the campaign was to give consumers the chance to
sample the lollipops, there was considerable media coverage. Pieces have
appeared in the Pink Paper, and Stop! (the magazine for people trying to
quit smoking), as well as consumer and trade papers. A visit to Kiss FM
resulted in coverage for Chupa Chups during the drive-time slot from 4pm
This was a fun, innovative way of getting Chupa Chups into the hearts,
minds and mouths of consumers. With each lollipop weighing in at just 50
calories, it was sure to be a success with the fashion-conscious
clubbers in London’s West End.
While it may not have reached an enormous number of people, the task
force effort was well targeted and instrumental in Chupa Chups’ campaign
to win over stockists in clubs and bars.
Client: Chupa Chups
PR Team: Red Rooster PR
Campaign: The Last Drag
Timescale: March 1999