The current emotional, heartbreaking and upsetting anti-smoking advertisements are all widely recognised by the college students I interviewed, and by many more acquaintances and friends when I asked about them.
One of the more recent advertisements including the late Gerry Collins, a man who campaigned against smoking as a lung cancer sufferer himself, touched all of the interviewees I spoke with, and seems to have touched the hearts of the nation as well. Unfortunately, as brave as Gerry Collins and others are to take part in these kinds of advertisements, they don’t seem to be working at all on the younger demographic they are aimed to. Many of my interviewees commented on how sad those advertisements were and how they were so upsetting. But they were quick to follow up with their thoughts about how old the people in the adverts were, and how they’ll never be a ‘hard smoker’ like them. A lot of the interviewees said they would simply switch the channel if an ad like that came on.
It was clear to see from my findings that the long-term effects of smoking made little impact on a smoker’s life. Not one of the smokers I interviewed seemed in any way concerned about their health in its current state or their future health.
What I did find and what I feel the current literature lacks, is an understanding of why this is of little or no importance to college students who smoke.
To put the answer s...
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...goes on, but it is also important to focus on innovative and new advertisements that focus on the cosmetic losses people face when smoking.
One area that I feel the anti-smoking campaigns are lacking is on social media platforms. This is where young adolescents such as college students spend the majority of their time, rather than watching TV or listening to the radio. In order to create a fully integrated IMC strategy, it would be foolish not to include social media. A “quit smoking” application for iPhone or Android would be a great start in reaching the younger generation. If this app was promoted on sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter then maybe that images that are regularly associated with “#smoking” would change from being pro-smoking, to a more balanced place, where smoking wasn’t always necessarily viewed as a cool thing to talk about.
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