Friday, January 1, 2016

Will mixing humor with fear motivate teens not to smoke?

While discussing the use of emotions in advertising we reached the conclusion that while all decisions may be emotional, when it comes to stimulating action all emotions are not equal. 

One emotion that was mentioned -- fear -- clearly does work.  One needs only to look at political advertising, dating back to the classic "Daisy" ad from soon to be President Lyndon Johnson, to see its power.  In case you are not familiar with this ground-breaking 1964 commercial, you can check it out here.

So this week when I happened to see this anti-smoking ad from the FDA, I was intrigued.  Its silly humor is engaging, but its message is clearly meant to scare people.  Here it is if you haven't seen it yet.

What do you think?  Will it be successful?  Although teen smoking rates are declining, in 2014, 1 in 15 high school seniors was a daily smoker so we clearly still have a way to go.  (2015)

(2015, May 29)  Trends in Adolescent Tobacco Use.  US Department of Health & Human Services.  Retrieved January 1, 2016, from

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