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Get Unhooked

By bjohnson83 Nov 02, 2011 943 Words
Beth Johnson
1301 English
Mrs. Little
Monday, October 24, 2011
Get Unhooked
Cigarette smoking poses medical dangers and may lead to cancer for both the smoker and those who experience secondhand smoke. The Get Unhooked advertising campaign was developed at Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy by creative director Paul Briginshaw and Malcolm Duffy with agency producer Russell Taylor. This anti-smoking ad from the National Health Service in the United Kingdom gives you a mild graphic representation of what smoking tobacco does to a person. The NHS released four posters and four television adverts portraying adults with fish hooks through their mouths. It is important to consider the point of view since the advertisement was created by a government program that deals with health care and is funded by the citizens of England.

The average smoker needs over five thousand cigarettes a year. That’s the message in the “Get Unhooked” campaign. Timed to coincide with New Year resolutions, the campaign encourages readers and viewers to “Get unhooked”, by calling their 800 number or by visiting With launching the campaign, the public health minister, Caroline Flint, said: “Many smokers will be considering stopping as part of their new year’s resolution. These adverts highlight the controlling message of tobacco. We know 70% of smokers would like to give up.” Robert West, professor of health psychology at University College London, said: “The nicotine in cigarette smoke can be as addictive as heroin and crack cocaine. By getting ‘unhooked’ you are freeing yourself from a lethal cycle of addiction.” The ads “psychologically make a lot of sense” because they set up the “trigger” – the addiction of smoking – but then provide a solution: a phone number and website that will give details of NHS smoking cessation services. In this anti-smoking advertisement by the National Health Service of England you can clearly see suffering and consequence imbedded into its visual appeal.

So the creator of this advertisement, the NHS, is attempting to shock the viewers of the advertisement into realizing just how addictive smoking can be. Not only does the article appeal to pity through imagery but also through the text that is below the image. The viewers are drawn to the text after they observe the shocking image and want to learn exactly what it is about. The text also invokes shock, much like the image, by using a very alarming statistic. By stating that the average smoker needs over five thousand cigarettes a year the creator intends to surprise the reader on just how addictive smoking can be. The word choice used by the NHS is also something that should be noticed. The ad does not read “the average smoker smokes five thousand cigarettes in a year” instead it states “the average smoker needs”. By doing this the NHS wants to highlight the fact that once someone starts smoking it is something he or she actually needs and not just wants.

The ad uses a female in her early thirties with blonde hair, an average looking female. With a large hook protruding out of the right side of her lip, pulled tight by a taught fishing line. . An association of pain comes to mind when looking at the photo. Other than the woman the shot is straight forward and a clean angle. This ad from the NHS contains just a straight forward message a simple picture, using only the woman, the hook, and the line. The picture is well balanced, due to lack of objects and commotion in the background. The feeling of wow and shock comes to mind when you look at the photo.

At first glance it looks as if the NHS ad is being produced for the sole purpose of showing just how devastating a smoking addiction can be but this may not be the only reason the ad is being produced. The more people that become sick under the care of the National Health Service of England the more tax money the government must provide to the health care agency. Since smoking has a high rate of leading to lung cancer and other illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the more smokers there are the more money the NHS can expect to spend caring for these patients. This is the most likely reason as to why the advertisement is being produced.

The more people that the NHS can prevent or stop from smoking the more they will be able to spend on other patients or even keep the money for profit. In almost every civilized, well-governed country throughout the world the majority of its money is earned through taxes as is the case with England. In an attempt to spend the least amount of tax revenue possible on patients with self-inflicted and preventable illnesses the National Health Service of England produced this advertisement.

Works Cited
"Get Unhooked from Smoking." 10 Advertising and Marketing Journal. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. . "Globalink Radio: Get Unhooked: the New Campaign in the UK." EcoTalk's Archives. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. . "NHS Anti-Smoking Adverts Might Be Controversial But Are Still Effective, Says Study." Medical News Today: Health News. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. . "Health Behaviour Research Centre." UCL - London's Global University. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. . "Ways to Quit | NHS SmokeFree." Smoking? | Advice to Help You Stop Smoking | NHS SmokeFree. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. . Your Health and Safety. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. .

"[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Smokefree England: Caroline Flint MP, Minister of State for Health." Internet Memory : Collection Page: Internet Memory. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. . "National Health Services: Get Unhooked." Adpunch : Advertising Begins Here. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. .

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