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MARKETER: Florida Department of Health


CRITIQUE: Marketers will tell you that targeting kids is a rough thing to do. The reasons why differ and break into a strange dichotomy. Either kids are bombarded by so many different marketing messages that it becomes difficult to penetrate their savvy shields, or they are impressionable innocents who need to be protected from those same messages.

The jury's still out on which is the case.

Which makes you wonder about the public service site put up by the Florida Department of Health (and partially sponsored by some tobacco companies court-ordered to do so) to get kids to stop smoking by telling them "the truth" about how tobacco can kill them. The site aims to make not smoking seem cool through some copy that spins in the opposite direction from tobacco ads.

If kids are media-savvy consumers, they've probably picked up on the fact that smoking is bad for you but ignore that message. If kids need to be shielded, then is an anti-ad ad really the way to go about it? Will clever QuickTime movies suddenly convince kids to follow the "truth," which they probably already know?

This site could be valuable if it created a forum for kids to interact with each other and learn that others don't smoke, and that there are ways (besides e-mailing President Clinton and ad execs as the site suggests) that they can rebel against the industry.

But maybe that's just too uncool.

WHO CREATED IT: Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami

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