Smoke and Mirrors – a tiny execution for a big idea

ad3_2I just came across this anti-smoking print campaign out of Brazilian agency Neogama/BBH. I like the fact that it’s a clever twist on the overused, tired strategy of trying to impress upon smokers that within their 6″ of tobacco, paper and filters lies an astounding 4,700 toxic substances. Therein lies the challenge the creative has to overcome. Great concepts find a fresh new take on the same old thing. From an executional point of view this campaign is amazing. How do you put a face on cancer? This campaign manages to find 2 visual analogies that perfectly spell it out … no headline or copy required really. Apparently the whole thing was done with models and took over 9 months to complete. Wow. We usually have 5 minutes at the CBC so the timeline is pretty incredible.
Unfortunately for me, this amazing execution is also where the creative falls short for me. To be fair, it may not be a campaign that will be placed in mass media. I hope not. The release says press. The impact of the concept lies in the viewer’s being able to take time with the ad … exploring all the delightful scenarios that are being simultaneously played out within the cigarette. If this campaign isn’t carefully placed, the impact will be lost, the message missed and 9 months of painstaking production will be for naught. I’m just glad I bothered to double click the image large enough so that I didn’t miss it. Will it stop people from smoking? Not likely. It’s a little too clever – too tiny and fiddly for real stopping power. But I still like it. To see it much, much larger, go to Courtesy of
Advertising Agency: Neogama/BBH, São Paulo, Brazil
Executive Creative Director: Alexandre Gama
Creative Directors: Márcio Ribas, Wilson Mateos
Art Director: Pedro Utzeri
Copywriter: Marcio Juniot
Illustrator: Casa do Vaticano


About Jill Atkinson

From concepts and smart headlines to original content and transmedia storytelling, to television pitch materials, directors treatments, long format writing, blogs and web copy with SEO, I write it all. I'm a writer, copywriter, and a content writer. My job is to help you say it better with ideas and language that get noticed. With copy and content that engages customers and audiences and ideas that make a connection with them. Ideas that generate a response. Materials that can sell a pitch. When you work with me you're working with the big boys: Maclaren, BBDO, Taxi, Sharpe Blackmore and also a great bunch of mid-sized agencies, b2b shops, a national television network (CBC), 15 specialty channels (History Channel, National Geographic, Showcase, Action, IFC, BBC Canada, + many more) and start ups who have taught me everything I know about how to get you noticed, remembered and sold. Or clicked. Or talked about. There are lots of ways to try to sell your products or to sell people on your offer or to engage them in your content and your show. But there is only one way to get it done right and on strategy. My experience is a foot in the door for your brand or your television idea . And no matter the size of your project, my commitment and attention to detail remain the same, big or small and always on deadline. Great conversations have to start somewhere. Give me a call or shoot me an email Check out my work at
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