Smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK with 50% of long-term smokers dying from smoking-related diseases, the hardest to influence audience has been Routine & Manual (blue collar) workers. The challenge for the Department of Health's Smokefree campaign was to demonstrate the harm that smoking causes right here, right now. Research uncovered the importance of the family for this target audience, and the insight that the psychological harm smoking has on their children is a powerful motivator to make routine and manual smokers consider quitting.
Provide the motivation to quit smoking by shifting smokers' attitudes about the effects of smoking on their children as well as creating impact to ensure the message cuts through.
TV is the most important medium for R&M households, as evenings are spent together in the living room. TV also provided the opportunity for emotive and direct communication. MEC handled the media planning for this campaign and bought 76 spots across ITV1 in Coronation Street and Emmerdale across a seven week period. In addition, more generic spots were bought on Living TV. MEC also chose to buy into the soaps channel on ITV.com with pre-rolls before the content. The campaign was supported by similar activity in press, on radio, outdoor and online.
In the first month of the campaign 83% of the target audience recognised the campaign rising to 90% in the second month. Not only did the campaign substantially shift attitudes around the effect of smoking on loved ones, the campaign also provided the motivation to stop smoking. 54% of the target audience agreed 'these ads made me think I should stop putting it off and stop smoking now' - a rise of 5 percentage points from the previous campaign and the highest motivation level reached since 2006. 55% said the adverts are likely to make them stop smoking.
"The Smokefree Generation campaign successfully managed to engage our audience with the message that smoking is the enemy of the family. Integration between our creative and communications planning agencies to deliver an innovative solution has helped make strides towards our long term goal of reducing smoking prevalence of Routine and Manual Workers in England" Paul Brewer, Head of Marketing, Tobacco Control, Change4Life & Alcohol.