We made young women look ugly, creating a smoking selfie that would motivate them to quit.
Despite all the health warnings young women still think smoking is ‘cool’. They know it’s dangerous to smoke, but the long-term impact is too far off to make them stop.
For young women, image is everything. Selfies rule, beauty spend is high and the media constantly reinforces their need to look good. Yet it is their physical appearance that is ultimately heavily impacted by smoking. They are highly skeptical about traditional messages so we made it personal.
Our key message was ‘your future is not pretty’. In a twist on shopping centre make-overs we created the make-under.
We set up mock beauty bars in key shopping areas, offering free make-overs to young women.
But instead of a make-over we gave each of them a MAKE-UNDER to show the ugliness of their future smoking self.
Special effects artists portrayed the disgusting consequences of long-term smoking: dark circles under the eyes, bad skin, stained teeth, and revealed their new look to them.
Behaviour change takes time: our results therefore focus on short-term metrics as indicators of future change. 118 make-unders were completed, prompting 752 on-site conversations and 204,951 video views.
PR reached 14.1 million people (more-than half the Australian population) – with coverage in print, online, radio & TV across all major media outlets.
The make-under activations were a great way to show young Queensland women how they might look in the future if they continued to smoke or took up smoking. It was an emotional and poignant experience for many women who were made-under and certainly made them think twice about their smoking, if not motivating them to quit completely.Jacquie McGraw Campaign Manager, Queensland Health