Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Smoking, Marketing, Strategy, Appeal, Campaign, Elections, Public Relations, Audience

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/06

Smoking and the use of Tobacco have been linked to diseases like lung cancer, heart ailments and many more respiratory problems. Although the ill-effects on smoking on humans has been known for a long time, public smoking was not banned for a long time, with smoking even allowed in airplanes. With rising health care costs and a growing public awareness among people about their health, countries all over the world have been enacting different bans on smoking in public spaces. In 2004, Ireland became the first country to ban smoking in public places (Overview). Government action on smoking meant that tobacco companies must carry mandatory warning signs on their products. Prior to government crackdown, tobacco companies spent millions of dollars on advertising their products but as concerns over health, social and environmental issues grew there were advertisements and a sustained marketing strategy by the anti-tobacco lobby too. Along with the government, non-governmental agencies and environmental groups got together to market the ill-effects of tobacco. The marketing strategy by CEPF-China Environmental Protection Agency was a successful anti-tobacco campaign by a governmental agency that saw a decrease in the number of smokers. The agency had used the power of rhetoric to the hilt to make their strategy effective. Rhetoric is not only the art of persuasion but is also about making a connection with the audience using a series of techniques to make them see what the Organization believes in (Carabelli and Sullivan, 71). The strategies involved placing x-rays and sonograms of a human lung and a fetus and place an ashtray on them. These devices were placed in public places where people gathered to smoke and sent out health alerts every time a smoker made contact with the ashtray. The campaign was also framed in such a way that the user was made to feel guilty about intentionally causing damage to the lungs and leading to congenital heart defects in babies. The advertising strategy for this anti-smoking campaign with the ashtrays and real images revolves around appealing to the smoker’s emotions and logic. Not only are the pictures quite graphic, the information beneath the pictures were also succinct and in a few words detailed the effects of smoking. The Organization’s goal was to bring down the number of smoker and the cleverly designed campaign managed to do just that.
What CEPF has done here is take the strategy of mainstream marketing techniques and use it to their advantage. The placement of their products was definitely the key to their campaign. They did not hand out flyers or stick posters which would bring down the recall value of their audience (seeing it at random places, the people would not remember the details) but rather placed their ashtrays with messages exactly in places where smokers would congregate. Hence whenever the smokers came out they also came in contact with the advertisement. Kairos is a rhetorical technique and is ‘taking advantage of or even creating a perfect moment to deliver a particular message (Carabelli and Sullivan, 91).” Every time a smoker used the ashtray a message popped up telling the smokers how they were intentionally damaging their bodies and that of their future children. The audience were told of the effects of smoking during the act making them pause and analyze the effects of smoking. The timing of the messages is effective as the smokers get a notification immediately. The messages did not ask them to stop smoking and was not preachy but rather pretty direct and laid the blame solely on the smokers for causing damage to their hearts and causing congenital heart defects in unborn babies. An advertising strategy becomes successful when it appeals to the emotions of the audience. Pathos is a rhetorical device that is used to bring the audience in and make them connect with the argument (Carabelli and Sullivan, 87). Unless the strategy has some kind of an emotional pull over the audience, it would be difficult for it to be effective. A sonogram of a fetus superimposed on the flat surface and integrated with the ashtray in their product served strongly to appeal to the emotions of women. According to the organization, this strategy worked and there was a marked dip in the percentage of smokers. As the messages in the devices say, the overall percentage of smokers came down by 60% and over 30% of people extinguished their cigarettes as the presentation was being made. Ethos is a rhetorical device that is used to persuade the audience of the speaker’s credibility and authority (Carabelli and Sullivan, 81). By placing the results on the devices the organization asserts its credibility, telling the audience that their strategy had been effective before.
It was a logical decision to place the product there and to keep the messages short. The images had shock value and every time a smoker had to ash the cigarette he or she would have to come in contact with the ashtray which was conveniently placed in the middle of the lung or the baby’s heart in the x-ray and sonogram. The images were a literal representation of the message the organization was striving to drive across. CEPF here used a ‘certain logic in harnessing the good things of commercial marketing and using it against tobacco companies and smoking in a way that did not bring about any disruption to existing market structures or lifestyles.’(Peattie & Peattie 2008).
CEPF here has used something called as the de-marketing technique to counter the marketing strategies’ used by the tobacco companies. It is usual practice in this method to analyze, critique and counteract when necessary the traditional commercial marketers (Hastings and Saren, 2003). Just as the tobacco companies analyze and research their market base and consumer groups, CEPF too analyzed their target audience and places their products where they knew it would have the greatest impact. The criticism was not levelled at the tobacco companies but rather at the smokers themselves. The messages were rather a personal appeal to the smokers themselves to stop smoking and stop damaging their own health. If traditional marketing of tobacco companies were successful in appealing to the bravado, rebellion and glamour associated with smoking, this campaign with its images and messages appealed to the stark reality of the consequences of smoking. These advertisements serve to mitigate some of the deeply ingrained behaviors in the smokers. Smoking after a while becomes a compulsive habit and an addiction and people do it knowing well what they are in for. Smoking is also thought of to be a stress reliever with smokers taking regular breaks to relax. The in-your-face nature of the advertisements and the products placed by CEPF was successful as it broke this behavior pattern. Not everyone would like to be told that they were intentionally killing themselves and the number of smokers came down because they did not want to face the reality of their decision.
The campaign worked as it did not portray the smokers a bad people or preach to them. Although the messages in the campaign were matter of fact, it was not judgmental and it was also not directly anti-tobacco; two previous marketing strategies which were less successful in taking the message across. The premise was that images would serve to spread the messages far more effectively than messages or preachy phrases. The campaign was designed to appeal to the emotions, the intellect and the behavior of the smokers and it turned out to be pretty successful. These images and messages were successful as they were factual information and were easily accessible. The sole act of putting a cigarette into the ashtray was enough for an alert or a health warning to pop up on the screen. It also was an interesting concept that was not tried before and that took the fancy of the smokers.
Social marketing is defined as “the use of marketing principles and techniques to influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject, modify, or abandon a behavior for the benefit of individuals, groups, or society as a whole (Kotler et al, 394).” CEPF’s anti-smoking campaign is an example of such a social marketing. The images on the product served to arouse the curiosity of the smokers and were also good enough to scare the smokers with a very graphic portrayal of what they were doing to themselves by smoking. The tagline or slogan of the campaign was just the images captured in words and was successful in reiterating the message. The Organization’s goal was to bring down the number of smokers, especially female smokers down and their products reflect just that. The campaign and the product (the stand with the ashtray attached to the images) had the right image, the correct message (short, factual, statistical and not preachy) and was also aesthetically appealing. They were not pleasant to the eye but were good enough for smokers to take notice of it and spend time reading whatever was written on it every time they took a cigarette break. The campaign reflects the goal of the Organization to help smokers refrain and create awareness about health.
The Organization has taken the effective marketing strategies of the tobacco companies and has used it in their own de-marketing way to bring down the number of smokers. The campaign succeeded largely because it appealed to the emotion and intellect of the smokers and did not treat them as bad people. Logos is an appeal to the logic of the audience (Carabelli and Sullivan, 78). The campaign was devised in a way that there was a reassertion of the facts that the audience already knew about i.e. smoking is injurious to health. This strategy of treating them as logical individuals able to reason with themselves about their health was a part of the strategy that made it a big success. The placement of the anti-smoking products was another integral part for its success. Instead of placing it where there would be more people, the company positioned the products in places where only smokers would gather. This way the message reached the target audience straight away. Since it appealed to the target audience efficiently this strategy was success and the organization was able to bring down the number of smokers considerably.

Works Cited

Carabelli, Jason and Sullivan, Brogan, eds. Rhetoric Matters: Language and Argument in Context. Tampa: University of South Florida. 2013.
Lane, Emily et al. “Logos: Appeals to Logic.” Carabelli and Sullivan 78.
Lee Kendra et al. “Pathos: Appeals to Emotion.” Carabelli and Sullivan 87.
McIntyre, Megan and McKee, Jessica. “Ethos: Appeals to Authority and Credibility.” Carabelli and Sullivan 81.
Pantelides, Kate et al. “Kairos: Appeals to Timeliness.” Carabelli and Sullivan 91.
Hastings G, Saren M. “The critical contribution of social marketing: theory and application.” Marketing Theory. 33.3 (2003):305–22. Print.
Kotler P, Roberto N, Lee N. Social marketing: Improving the quality of life. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. 2002. Print.
“Overview of smoke-free legislation in the EU". European Commission. May 2011. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.
Peattie, Ken and Peattie, Sue. “Social marketing: A pathway to consumption reduction?” Journal of Business Research. 62 (2009): 262-268. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 06) Good Essay About Effects Of Smoking. Retrieved August 20, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-effects-of-smoking/
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Good Essay About Effects Of Smoking. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-effects-of-smoking/. Published Nov 06, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022.

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