• 05.01.12

Kids Speak The Darndest Truths About Cigarette Packages

Created by agency AMV BBDO London, Cancer Research U.K.’s latest spot makes its point for plain packaged cigarettes by getting children to speak honestly about what they see.

It’s really bright colors and I think it would be quite fun to play with.
The pictures actually look quite nice–I mean, ice cubes and mint!
It makes you feel like you’re in a wonderland of happiness.


Such cheerful descriptions from the children in this spot sound apropos of a new toy’s label or even an ad for wintergreen gum–but the surprising truth becomes evident at 30 seconds in with a slow pullback shot revealing a desk littered with empty cigarette packages.

Created by agency AMV BBDO London as part of Cancer Research U.K.’s campaign to remove all branding from tobacco packages, “The Answer is Plain” aims to serve as a wake-up call to just how susceptible children are to finding flashy and colorful designs highly appealing without any understanding of the dangers within such neatly presented boxes.

Director Finn McGough shot the kids giving their unscripted feedback at primary schools across London. The campaign underscores the findings in a new Cancer Research U.K. report that identifies young people and women as the prime target groups for tobacco packaging. Granted, petitioning for unbranded cigarette packs is a mere fraction of a larger anti-smoking bid, but this eye-opening spots argues it will at least “give millions of kids one less reason to start.”

About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America" where he was the social media producer.