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Striking a chord

New tobacco campaign aimed at young men and women focuses on the impact smoking has on virility and appearance

The Department of Health is continuing its efforts to reduce the numbers of young people smoking in the UK with a new advertising campaign that targets men and women separately.

The Motivations that Matter campaign focuses on two of the most important things to young men and women, virility and looks. The ads targeted at young men show the impact of smoking on impotence, linking the habit to erectile dysfunction by using a lit cigarette between two fingers as a metaphor for a penis (see image above).

Stark images of the effect smoking has on your appearance and attractiveness form the basis for the ads targeting young female smokers (see below).

The overall smoking campaign includes TV, regional radio, press and online advertising, and is supported by two micro websites, www.stayinghard.info for men and www.uglysmoking.info for women.

The stayinghard.info site strikes at the heart of what is important to most young men and backs up its claims with solid statistics. Men who smoke are more likely to be impotent, its says. Every year there are 120,000 men who smoke and can no longer have an erection. That's a lot isn't it? This is how it happensÖ

The site for women takes it lead from consumer magazines aimed at this market in an attempt to get young women to give up smoking. This season's hottest look - smouldering chic. Make every day a bad hair day, it says and explains that

hairdressers can immediately spot a smoker by the state of their hair. The chemicals in fags can starve your hair of oxygen and make it dull, lifeless and brittle. No conditioner can put it back, it adds.

Both sites use materials, such as mocked up magazine covers, with which the target audience can easily identify, to explain how and why smoking can lead to impotence, premature ageing and a whole host of other unwanted side effects.

Click on images for a larger view:

2nd September 2008

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