22 June 2011


I had an idea for a TV advertisement. The purpose of the advertisement would be to inform people about the costs to the healthcare system of people who get sick - and when I say sick, I mean fixin' to die sick - from smoking. Maybe if people realised the impost on their taxes through the healthcare system, there would be more of a mass movement to reduce the incidence of smoking throughout the population.

I would use the notion of an old fashioned nanny. That is to say, an older, larger, warmer, in a dress and pinafore nanny, the style of nanny you think of when you maybe think about the upbringing of the
privileged scions of earlier generations. I believe there is an alternate image of nannies based on some recent, populist notion of them being strict and harsh. Probably a short term ratings winner but no resonance, you know what I mean?

The nanny would be all soft and comforting, you know, and would say that if you really understood the social and financial burden that your smoking brought on the whole population, including your city, your neighbourhood, your workmates, your friends, your family, yourself, you'd reconsider the habit.

The language would be as one would use to a child to get him or her to modify behaviour that they know is unhelpful, but just need a push. The tone would be uplifting and hopeful to insinuate that, with your help, we'll all be better off.

What do you reckon?


lemmiwinks said...

It would be as popular as a pork chop in Jerusalem. The "smoker and proud of it" crowd fairly bristle with righteous indignation at any slur against their prized habit. "You can't tell me what to do" they cry, gleefully sticking a knife in the toaster.

Look no further than the (thankfully) short lived industry campaign against plain packaging and a similar campaign by the gambling industry against the god given right of a man to put his weekly pay packet through the pokies without someone pestering him about the tedious need to feed and clothe his children. I would say they are attempting to play the public for fools but that is a most grievous slight against fools.

phil said...

Yep, that's where I drew my 'inspiration.'

I need to look further afield.

Link said...

It's way too late to be appealing to whatever remnants people may have left of an idea of 'selflessness'. Ads that try to guilt you into doing something or not doing something as the case may be, because of the deleterious effects it will have on others are unfortunately a waste of time. We have all been taught to be selfish I-ndividuals. I-this, I-that, me, me, me, is the cultural ethos from which we struggle. Who gives a shit about the taxes other people pay? I'm being deeply cynical of course, but try as I do to be a better human I can't find myself caring a jot about other people's wasted tax money or indeed my own. A little incensed at times perhaps, but 'care'? I think not. Nanny will have to try something other.

phil said...

Oh well. Fortunately I never went into advertising.

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