“Truth”, the anti-smoking not for profit organization in the U.S., has launched a campaign, ugly truth, that encourages people to come and vote for the most disgusting fact about smoking. The initiative, targeting younger generation of consumers, is developed by Boston-based Arnold Worldwide.
As part of the initiative, the non-profit has revealed a series of outdoor performances and animation clips that highlight one of 22 smoking-related facts, with some of them being set against each other to encourage voting. They have also created a series of engaging ambient activities, revolving around the unpleasant truths about the cigarette smoke. The footage from these street performances was used to create TV ads that will be rolling out from April 29 through June 30 on cable channels including Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2 and VH1.
One of street activations is the “#VotePee/#VotePoop” installation in NYC that featured two giant transparent poles with an oversized cute cat and dog on them. The facts have it that methane, which is a chemical in dog poop, and urea, a chemical in cat pee, can be also found in cigarette smoke. Once passers-by pressed a button on the “Which is uglier?” to vote for the “dog’s” fact, they saw something very reminiscent of a brown poop falling down within the pedestal—the “cat’s” truth was visualized with yellow liquor. The sounds enhance the effect.
Currently, the Poop and Pee ones are resting on the 2nd and 3rd places there with 7,000+ and 5,000+ votes, respectively. The leader of the “ugly truths” rating is the fact reading that Big Tobacco’s products kill 137 people from secondhand smoke every day (there’s also a video for this fact). The audience can vote for each of the truth by clicking on a corresponding tile of the digital wall, the vote can also be shared via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. The facts have a short description, a visual and a hashtag, highlighting the core figure or word of the truth. More non-votable facts can be seen here.
The campaign will be supported by the YouTube comedy duo phenom Smosh, who will write and produce a video sketch to fit the “ugly truth” campaign’s philosophy. Online artist community deviantART will also host a competition on thetruth.com, encouraging the creative community to get inspired by one of four ugly truths and use them in Monster, Giant, Mutant or Undead art. The non-profit also collaborated with artists, storytellers and filmmakers on the project, who artfully show how the tobacco industry manipulates their products, research and advertising to win more consumers.
The organization also says that it will make maximum use of the public votes. The winning ugliest truth will be presented to Big Tobacco “in a beautifully ugly way.”
The new effort uses some strikingly “disgustful” tools to communicate the ugly facts about smoking, while the recent project by TBWA\Italy demonstrated how to reach the same goal by featuring beautiful (gloomy, though) paintings.