PSA campaign demonstrates the power of advertising


ChartA multi-media anti-smoking blitz mounted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services was far from a waste of money. In fact, numerous metrics demonstrated the power of effective advertising to get results.

The Lancet, a British medical journal, published a study on the effects of the campaign, which included television, radio, print and online elements.

The campaign featured no-holds-barred messaging and offered tips on quitting from individuals who themselves have kicked the habit.

No less than 1.64M smokers made an attempt to quit that was attributable to the campaign

220K smokers actually did abstain from smoking upon completion of the campaign.

For 100K, the abstinence is expected to be permanent.

Calls to a hotline with cessation tips more than doubled, up 132%.

RBR-TVBR observation: Here is the pitch we’d take away from this: If an effective advertising campaign can have this kind of effect with millions of people unfortunate enough to be addicted to a harmful product, imagine what kind of effect it can have making people aware of your own excellent, beneficial and entirely desirable product!

While we’re on the topic, here’s a do-it-yourself quitting tip from an ex-smoker. I gave myself a number of weeks to pull it off. During the first week, I allowed myself one pack, or 20 cigarettes, a day. Week two it was 19 cigarettes, then 18 a day and so on. It allowed me to eliminate the ritual smokes, like the mid-morning go-outside-to-read-faxes smoke or the after-the-11 o’clock-news smoke while letting my body gradually taper off.

The last several weeks, from six or seven a day on down, were still very hard and I did have lapses, but in general, it worked and I haven’t had a smoke of any kind in years. If you’re trying to quit and nothing else has worked, maybe this will.