FDA Targets Teens with Claymation Production in Next Iteration of Smoking Prevention Series
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The latest instalment of 'Little Lungs' by FCB New York comes with a celebrity twist, featuring the likes of Terry Crews, Sky Katz and Tony Hawk
FCB New York and FDA’s Centre for Tobacco Products have announced that they have launched the next instalment of 'Little Lungs', an effective smoking prevention campaign for teens that portrays a set of lungs stunted by teenage smoking. This time with a celebrity twist, the digital campaign includes a series of videos featuring host of 'America’s Got Talent' and 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' star Terry Crews; Disney star, Sky Katz; and skateboard phenomenon, Tony Hawk.
To refresh your memory, back in 2017, Hornet director Peter Sluszka first introduced 'Little Lungs in a Great Big World' with the creation of five films for the FDA Centre for Tobacco Products. As part of the broader campaign called 'The Real Cost' the films were designed to cut through the clutter and educate teens about the harmful effects of smoking and to do so in a fresh, slightly irreverent, oddball way.
In terms of 'slightly irreverent, oddball' humour, there isn’t a director in the world more suited to the challenge than Peter Sluszka. The films became a resounding success. They were screened at Annecy Animation Festival that year and have since been aired at major events like The X Games.
The campaign, which once again uses claymation production, highlights these celebrities in unique situations – from skateboarding to dancing to performing movie stunts – along with Little Lungs. But Little Lungs has never fully developed due to smoking cigarettes as a teen and so he has trouble keeping up with them.
'The Real Cost' successfully prevented nearly 587,000 youth ages 11 to 19 from smoking cigarettes in its first two years and has won four Effies over the span of five years, including a Gold in Disease Awareness & Education: Advocacy for 'The Real Cost'. Although 'The Real Cost' has run various executions, 'Little Lungs' has proven to be enduring and popular with teens. The campaign has 27 million views on YouTube and continues FDA’s efforts to educate teens in the United States about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking.
As far as technique goes, the films are made using "straight-up stop motion" according to Peter. He elaborates: “The physicality of stop motion adds a real visceral quality about the harm that can be done. A physical object being impacted by its environment really shows that those actions have consequences. It strikes the right formula between humorous and gruesome for a notoriously fickle age group."
“Given the tremendous impact we’ve seen with ‘The Real Cost’ campaign, and in particular, the ‘Little Lungs’ work, we believe this was the right time to add a new element to the characters in order to continue to reach the historically challenging teen audience,” said Suzanne Santiago, FCB New York EVP, group management director. “The support and commitment of topical celebrities will help us reach our key demographic with this critical message.”
Another key thing to mention in terms of reaching that fickle age group is the use of celebrity voices. According to Peter, this was “a nice evolution of the campaign.” To be able to bring in the influence and aura of people like Tony and Terry and Sky, who’ve reached the highest echelons of their fields, makes a real impact. To show what they've accomplished in professional sports and entertainment because of their decisions to avoid smoking cigarettes as teenagers, helps kids better understand what they might be able to accomplish if they make similar such choices, not to mention, it’s pretty hilarious to see a pair of lungs in the image of Terry Crews with washboard abs and a goatee.
James Meiser, associate creative director at FCB New York, added: "It was a pleasure to work with Peter Sluzska and Hornet again on a new set of Little Lungs spots. I can’t imagine a better set of creative partners. Our work for 'The Real Cost' is all about making our audience feel the consequences of smoking. In order to do that, we needed to make Little Lungs’ demise feel visceral, which made stop motion animation the clear choice for the project. There’s a tactile feeling you get from seeing a character made out of real material squished and burned and sliced and diced and run over by a train. There’s a physicality to it that’s really special, especially when it’s in the hands of expert animators. Seeing five b-boy lung puppets come to life in a dance routine is one of the great joys of my career."
The videos, along with a full library of more than a dozen video and audio clips and stills, will be leveraged across both the celebrities’ and 'The Real Cost’s' social channels. The campaign will also reach teens through integrations with Snapchat, Giphy and Spotify.