A new public service campaign breaking next week for Austin, Texas’ Live Tobacco-Free program makes the point that secondhand smoke is a danger wherever it occurs, indoors or out. Conceived by Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing, Austin, and directed by Scott McCullough, the new 30-second spot, in English and Spanish versions, shows a large tanker truck driving through Austin as a worker in a haz-mat suit sprays unsuspecting residents with thick, billowy clouds of noxious fumes.
People at an outdoor restaurant, kids playing in a park and pedestrians strolling along a path react in horror and disgust as they are enveloped by the sooty smoke. The voiceover notes that secondhand cigarette smoke contains 7,000 chemicals, many harmful to humans, and directs consumers to the Live Tobacco-Free Austin website for more information.
Sherry Matthews executive creative director Charles Webre says that the dangers of secondhand smoke in outdoor environments has never before been the target of a public service campaign. “We’re covering new ground,” he notes. “People are aware that secondhand smoke is dangerous, but they often don’t think of it as a problem outside the context of an enclosed, indoor environment.”
McCullough, a well-known commercial, music video and film director whose credits include ads for GMC, Amtrak and Jeep, says he was attracted to the project both because of his own concern over the problem of secondhand smoke, and because he loved the premise. “I thought the tanker truck with the guy in the haz-mat suit was a great visual,” McCullough observes. “And I liked the idea of creating a story about a menace to society that people are a bit naïve to.”
Client: Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services, “Live Tobacco-Free Austin”
Agency: Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing, Austin. Charles Webre, executive creative director/art director; Wally Williams, creative director/writer; Gwen Williams, account director; Margaret Moore, agency producer
Production: Bill Pridham, producer at Reveal Productions, Dallas
Director/DP: Scott McCullough
Editor: Walker Schupp
Colorist: Steve Franco at AndTransfer, Dallas