Tobacco flavors that seem fun and vaping devices that look like tech gadgets have led teens, and even parents, to underestimate the damage of nicotine. Most people know it’s powerfully addictive. But addiction is only the beginning. Nicotine is actually a neurotoxin whose changes to the teen brain could be permanent. And that’s what our campaign sets out to communicate.
New TV spots show teens in familiar adolescent scenes, yet homework sessions, prom and parental squabbles burst with enough tension to make the viewer wonder if there is more going on than garden-variety angst. To create the unsettlingly true-to-life campaign, DC and director Floyd Russ, who is best-known for his award-winning documentary short Zion, allowed teens to inform the action of the spots — which were entirely unscripted.
Complementing the TV and video are arresting outdoor boards running across the state and a website solely devoted to the dangers of nicotine on the teenage brain.