The grizzled gravedigger in a prior quit-smoking ad by ClearWay Minnesota is back, this time in a freaky roller-coaster ad designed to scare kids and teens about the addictive dangers of smoking. The ad hits the airwaves today.
ClearWay spokesman Mike Sheldon said the ad campaign reflects the organization's concern about apathy in Minnesota following successful legislation and other efforts to cut down on public places in which people can smoke. Of particular concern, he said, are the latest estimates that 77,000 young people in Minnesota smoke daily.
"Some people think that we've taken care of the tobacco issue and that we don't need to worry about it anymore," he said. "That's not the case."
An ad with a similar message, featuring children smoking on a school bus, will launch in January. All three ads in the new campaign are viewable here. The coaster ad was shot at an amusement park in Pennsylvania. Sheldon said ClearWay sought out the California-based actor who "personified the tobacco industry" in the grave-digger ad.
The campaign's choice of an amusement park as the setting for its first ad is interesting, because there has been continued discussion over whether smoking should be banned from such kid-focused attractions. Most parks such as Valleyfair limit smoking to designated areas in their parks, but the issue surfaced this summer when a smoker accidentally stuck a lit cigarette in a girl's eye at the Minnesota State Fair.