April 04, 2004
Pot to Kettle: "It's a Little Dark."

Let's talk for a moment about Crispin Porter Bogusky. An ad agency in Miami, they are getting a lot of attention for the work they do, like this article in Business 2.0. That's what happens when you do the brilliant anti-smoking campaign "TRUTH." And Ikea. And Molson.

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Truth. Truth, truth, truth. Strategically, it's quite bright, and it's been widely effective in reducing teenage smoking. Here's how Business 2.0 wrote about it:

Cigarettes tapped into teens' desires to establish identities, be associated with brands, and take risks. For the antismoking campaign to work, CPB had to push these same buttons harder and turn teenage angst against the tobacco industry. To do so, however, Bogusky couldn't use conventional marketing such as slick TV commercials. Only guerrilla-ambush tactics could promote an "anti-brand" that kids could latch on to.

Which is great. Unless other things latch onto that anti-brand as well. Things like brands, is what I'm saying, and here's why I'm saying it (PDF). Because you look closely at that TRUTH ad when it's a double-page spread, and then tell me how it is that Mini and Sirius Radio -- both CPB clients -- managed to find their way right into the middle of Times Square. Right into the center of the shot.

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I know it's a bit of joke about outdoor advertising, but it's not just a joke, it's also free national media for clients, paid for with Tobacco's filthy anti-tobacco money. Guerrila-ambush tactics, indeed. Anti-brand that kids could latch on to, sure, I follow. I read you. I follow.

Posted by kevin slavin at April 04, 2004 11:49 PM
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PDF link works now

Posted by: kevin slavin on April 5, 2004 04:03 PM
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