CAMPAIGNS: Smokers given a sweet alternative - Public Awareness

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.

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

were targeted.

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

to 8pm.


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

Budget: Undisclosed

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