Cute kids with cigarettes: Thailand’s anti-smoking campaign goes viral

Nadine Kalinauskas
Shine On Blogger
Shine On

If images of diseased lungs can't move you to toss the cigarettes, maybe cute kids can convince you. At least that's what a Thai public service announcement is hoping.

The ad from Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok, created for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, created buzz at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this week and has since gone viral.

The PSA captures a street campaign in which cute kids walk up to adult smokers, pull out cigarettes and ask for a light. After every adult refuses — and lectures the child on the dangers of smoking — the kids hands them folded-up notes that read, "You worry about me. But why not about yourself?" A number for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation's hotline is inside.

Watch the much talked-about PSA below.

Gawker's Neetzan Zimmerman summarizes the campaign's brilliance: "Rather than try and convince them to quit by telling them how bad smoking is, the ad agency instead tricked smokers into telling themselves how bad smoking is by having them try and convince a child not to smoke."

Most of the smokers threw out their cigarettes as the children walked away. No one tossed the brochure.

The video states that phone calls to the hotline from smokers increased by 40 per cent following the street campaign.

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