Thank You For Not Smoking

Truth Ad

We all can remember those bright orange, braille-like dots spelling out the words. If you were a youth in the early 00’s, you were definitely exposed to their marketing strategy if you had exposure to popular culture — they were everywhere.

I firmly remember thinking that the truth™ campaign had to be the biggest non-smoking campaign ever. From seeing their direct, brutally succinct ads at the city bus stop, in my favorite magazines, and during commercials of my favorite sitcoms — I subconsciously absorbed the message that smoking was extremely dangerous and that there were men (specifically White men) on Capital Hill fighting to keep me misinformed about the truth of cigarettes. If the goal of the truth™campaign was to expose as many youths to the danger of smoking and encouraging them to take charge of their health and future, then I would consider that particular campaign a success.

Ever since that campaign, I began to take notice of what was being advertised and by whom. I admired the glamourous, air brushed photographs with clean typography that played into my psychology as a adolescent, even if I had no clue where to find a Dior or Jean Paul Gaultier item. Print advertising was the most influential during those times since magazines were the most direct ways to inform a mass amount of people about a niche topic that wasn’t covered in daily news. One of the many things that stuck out to the me regarding that campaign was the effectiveness of covering various platforms that commercial advertising capitalized on, as well as never directly telling audiences to not smoke. The strategists behind that campaign managed to communicate their point and by using concise messaging and multiple methods, effectively.

What excites me in this new era of technology are the unlimited possibilities of tackling various topics and issues that particular demographics would otherwise not be exposed to. We live in an information age and that information can either be empowering or crippling depending upon its’ users and their effectiveness. The rise of the social media activist has sparked seeds in numerous minds that has an unpredictable future. Let’s hope that those strategies have evolved that can continue to education and inform and can address the many of the pressing issues that our society is facing. In this digital age, communication and advocacy are key.

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