Parents go to great lengths to protect their kids, especially from preventable injuries. But a graphic new PSA compares the dangers of tackle football—popular nationwide for kids as young as 5—with smoking.
The spot for The Concussion Legacy Foundation from health and wellness marketing agency Fingerpaint shows kids in football uniforms happily puffing away as their parents hand out smokes to their children and help them light up. The comparison is clear.
The Concussion Legacy Foundation warns against the dangers of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which can be caused by head injuries like concussions that are common in football or suffered by soldiers. The spot itself urges parents to keep their kids from engaging in tackle football until they turn 14.
The initiative features former San Francisco 49ers player Chris Borland, who retired from the game after his rookie year, citing fears of CTE from years of unreported concussions. He plays the referee in the spot. Angela Harrison, one of the creators of the spot, and director Rebecca Carpenter are both the children of former football players who developed CTE.
The PSA is running in TV, digital and social media placements. While the smoking in the spot is, of course, simulated, so is the tackling, which was performed by teenaged stunt actors.