$54m. worth of new smoking horror ads . . . and they do work
The best horror films you're every likely to see are the anti-smoking ads. Even better , unlike the Hammer horror movies of years gone by, they are all true.
Now the US Government is making a renewed push, starting with a new $54 million campaign from the Centers for Disease Control, to spotlight the dire health effects of tobacco products.
The campaign is called "Tips From Former Smokers," but "don't let the rather plain name fool you, " says Ad Age.
" The ads are straight-up horrifying, with amputations, stomata, and other cigarette-caused bodily destruction showcased."
Despite the high cost, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, said the campaign was expected to save well over $100 million in health-related costs.
Perhaps the most dramatic of the ads , created by Arnold of Boston, depicts the morning routine of a 51-year-old woman named Terrie.
The throat cancer survivor's rituals include putting in her teeth, donning a wig, and installing an electrolarynx that gives her a harsh, synthetic voice she uses to utter: "Now you're ready for the day."
Another ad features ex-smokers with laryngeal implants offering tips: "Don't use spray paint." "Crouch, don't bend over. You don't want to lose the food in your stomach." "Don't face the showerhead."
The viewer isn't sure whether to laugh or cry, says AdAge.
Do these kinds of shock ads work?
CDC Director Tom Frieden believes so, based on his experience of a smoke-shock campaign in New York.
They tested the ads for a year, monitoring the impact.
"Wherever we showed the ads the most, people stopped smoking in the greatest numbers. It was a dose-response relationship,"said Friedman.