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Crafting effective tobacco counteradvertisements: lessons from a failed campaign directed at teenagers.
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    Public Health Rep. 108(Suppl 1):85-89
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    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    Focus group research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health suggested that the desire of teenagers to gain control over their lives would make them responsive to a counteradvertising strategy aimed at exposing the predatory marketing techniques of the tobacco industry. On the basis of this strategy, the office developed draft print advertisements and a rough TV commercial featuring such theme lines as "You get an image. They get an addict." In those ads, "they" referred to cigarette companies. Subsequent testing of the campaign materials, however, indicated that the subtle, sophisticated execution of this concept of manipulation by the industry did not communicate clearly and effectively to an audience of young teens. In fact, 38 percent of those who viewed the rough TV spot believed that the main message promoted smoking. These negative test findings underscore the critical need for ongoing audience research throughout the creative process to ensure that campaign planners stay "in tune" with their consumers.
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