Revelations Of An Anti-Smoking Campaign


In the recent past, perpetual activism on various issue areas has been surfacing. Concerns highlighted by such efforts have been trickling down to the young Indian voice as well. As a result of that, we witness an array of social awareness campaigns and experiments in institutions or even on the streets of cities. The bottom-line of such experiments is simple – to follow and target a certain group of population and be creative enough to make them stop and stare, or even engage in discussions.

One such anti-smoking experiment was carried out by the YTV network that featured a young boy asking for a cigarette to adults smoking on the street around him. The idea is acknowledged to be inspired by Ogilvy’s anti-smoking advertisement campaign, which had become sufficiently popular at Cannes Festival 2012. A major point of difference between the Ogilvy ad and the YTV experiment was that of reactions that the boy’s audacious action gathered.

It is no surprise that adults vehemently discourage kids from smoking from an early age even if they did the same as youngsters. So, the YTV anti-smoking campaign video has captured nothing different. However, the rationale that the adults attach to their response is what is interesting in the video. One of the responses in the YTV experiment interestingly points to “our” cultural values. Drawing from the Indian cultural values, children (or women for that matter) strictly cannot smoke, but somehow it is acceptable for men to do so.

What social experiments also tend to reveal, is the nature of human behavior by controlling the situation. In this particular video, one can very well observe that adults don’t want any ‘conscious’ participation in the adoption of smoking by children. But the sense of personal responsibility only sets in when children directly go up to them to ask for a cigarette.

The effectiveness of such social experiments and campaigns can never be assured, ultimately. But this video, to the very least, highlights the various hypocritical arguments that adults present to children these days. One has no guarantee of whether those in the video will even think about the situation, let alone quit smoking. But the effect is created via spectators and social media, and in that regard, this definitely leaves a mark.

Follow the link below to see the adult hypocrisy of our time:

Samiksha Bhan

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