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Butt Out Board in Minneapolis

Ever see a 30 foot high cigarette butt getting crushed in an ashtray? Think that visual would get your attention?  It certainly isn’t subtle.

All it needs for a call to action is the company website:  The group helps smokers kick the habit.

Potential Buyers

Smokers (and other addicts) come from all demographics.  This particular road is traveled by commuters, casino patrons, fishermen and more–a percentage of all of these folks would smokers.  In fact the casino, with its “rat pack” ambiance is often a smoker’s paradise.  Even the fisherman might use their escape into nature as a chance to indulge.   The stress of driving a clogged major artery can make any of us reach for addictions, be they cigarettes, sugar, or other drugs.

  Minnesota quit smoking board

Fighting Addiction Creatively

In the end, the addicted person gets a perceived “payoff.”  After all, none of us with any shred of hope, would willingly do something that harms us over and over and…   The purpose of an anti-addiction advertisment has to break through the subconscious payoff.  Some have used gruesome images of lungs charred in tar. 

Others are more witty or cerebral.  The picture below relies on the idea of quit for the sake of your child or grand child. Other effective ads have had a dark skull on the end of a burning cigarette.  Another used 2 cigarettes as if they were smokestacks with dollar bills as the “smoke.”  The crushed cigarette above certainly embeds the question, “Could I do something better with my time?”

Substance Abuse Advertising

Many substance abuse centers have effectively used billboards to attract clients.  Many public service and advocacy organizations have done likewise.  However, the messages can be very different.  Consider the billboard below that Billboard Connection posted for the State of Tennessee Department of Health in Sevierville and Oneida. The copy below is more about convincing people there is a problem.  The copy above is more about how someone who recognizes the problem can take action.

Sevierville and Tennessee stop smoking campaignBillboards have long been used to market addiction and substance abuse campaigns. Space is often donated by billboard owners as part of a public service effort. Many of