220, 000 ex-smokers can’t be wrong. The hugely successful ‘Ex-smokers are Unstoppable’ campaign for the European Commission yesterday won a EuroEffie Award, the highest achievement for proven effectiveness. It’s the first time a campaign by a European Institution was awarded a EuroEffie. It’s also the first anti-tobacco campaign to achieve such results and it’s the first Belgian win since 2003.
Yves Van Landeghem, Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi said “The ex-smokers idea affects the way we look at and deal with anti-tobacco efforts as much as it affects the audience. It completely changed the way we activate it, talk about it and evaluate it with the European Commission”.
“Everything about this campaign is remarkable”, says Jan Teulingkx, ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels. “The promise we communicate is beautiful, as it doesn’t judge smokers or tells you smoking will kill you. It simply says that quitting will bring you a healthier and better life, with plenty of proven new advantages, from a healthy skin to an improved love life, from greater self-esteem to more money".
“When that positive message sunk in, we were ready with a practical tool to actually help people quit smoking”, says Karen Smessaert, Account Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels. “iCoach is an online smoking cessation programme developed with health and communication specialists and offers a fully customised programme to quit smoking at your own pace. To date, over 225,000 people have entered the programme”.
The next phase of the campaign is particularly exciting. This Tuesday an ambitious partnership was announced between the ‘Ex-smokers are Unstoppable’ campaign and FC Barcelona.. “We can’t say too much right now”, says Teulingkx, “but we worked extremely hard to get this done and it feels that the campaign is now truly becoming unstoppable. Barça and the European Commission are both walking into unknown territory with this kind of pioneering project. From a communication perspective, it will be a highly integrated pan-European campaign with very strong individual involvement for those who embark on a life-changing experience.”