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article imageOp-Ed: The best anti-smoking ad you'll ever see

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By David Silverberg     Jun 21, 2012 in Internet
Going viral, and rightfully so, is a powerful anti-smoking ad made by Thai Health Promotion Foundation. It shows how smokers care about kids lighting up cigs but don't heed their own advice.
How would smokers feel if they were approached by a child who wants a light for a cigarette? That's the premise behind a recent smoking PSA made in Thailand. The YouTube version is attracting attention across the world in the past 48 hours, reaching 127,000+ pageviews.
As Gawker describes it succinctly, "the ad agency tricked smokers into telling themselves how bad smoking is by having them try and convince a child not to smoke."
We've come across well-crafted anti-smoking PSAs before but to see such a real and human interaction between child and smoker is more impacting than any other ads I've seen. The final few seconds of the ad, focusing on the smokers realizing their actions, are especially memorable and allow the viewer to linger on the ad's message without getting hit over the head with it.
The ad was so effective, if the PSA is to be believed, that the Foundation saw a 40 percent increase in phone inquiries from smokers who wanted to quit.
I'd like to see copycat versions of this ad make their way West, perhaps to my own Canadian shores. Sure, this vid will get some love online but imagine if a similar ad found its way on Canadian or American TV? I can visualize how resonant the message would be with smokers and ex-smokers, and I think it would also affect youth who may be considering lighting up a cancer stick.
Is there a law against copying foreign ads for a Western audience? I admit I'm not expert in advertising so anyone with background/experience on this issue, please let me know what you think.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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More about Smoking, thaihealth, Thailand, smoking kids, smoking kid
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