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The Anti-Smoking Campaign Ad

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The Anti-Smoking Campaign Ad:

Does it work?

A woman sits in a room, shirt lifted and exposed, to display a scar located on her back. The scar, a remnant of lung surgery is huge and quite frankly, nasty. This image presented in many magazines as part of the Centers for Disease Control "Tips from former Smokers" campaign, is just one of the many ads presented by past smokers to the general public to dissuade smoking. The image is accompanied by the phrase "After you have a lung removed, take short breaths" and by the small caption "Annette, Age 57, Diagnosed at 52, New York". The bottom eight of the full page magazine ad is then dedicated to a selection from the CDC with a logo and a number for support for those wanting to quit smoking (Brown). The ad clearly has a purpose. But is the ad effective? The advertisement actually is quite effective, as human emotions are played upon, the authority of the "speaker" is clear, and logical appeals have been utilized.

The authors of the ad, the CDC, employ pathos, the appeal to emotions, to create a strong effect on readers (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, and Walters 32). People are creatures, thriving on emotion and the CDC exploited the inherent characteristic of emotion as it employed a jaw dropping image of a woman who had to have a lung removed because of cancer. While it can be assumed cigarette smoking was the cause of cancer, the reader will never know the actual cause. But, the picture, in this case, was worth a thousand words. The usage of a picture with only a name, a cancer diagnosed date, and a current age immediately draw the reader's mind to the woman herself (Brown). People care about other people and the simplistic nature of the image with a name attached made the image not just an image but a woman with a disease. The creating of an actual person in the minds of readers, created an ad that was effective. If people see an ad as more than just an ad, they can be convinced to do something. The connection of the woman and her scar, to Annette a fifty seven year old from New York, is key in creating an advertisement that does more than just promotes, it can convince smokers to stop smoking as they question "will this be me at 57?"

The purpose of the ad, convincing current smokers to stop and others to not pick up the habit, is clear with the image, short message, and CDC logo (Brown). But, what makes the advertisement reliable? The advertisement can be seen as reliable simply because the character on the page can claim authority. When authority can be backed up an ad can be seen as more effective, after all, someone with knowledge and experience can be depended on about an issue (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, and Walters 57). Asserting the character as a former smoker diagnosed with lung cancer, brings weight to the idea that smoking can cause horrible effects.



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