The tobacco industry actually paid for this anti-smoking ad in Super Bowl XXXVI.
In 1998 the tobacco industry settled lawsuits from with 46 states, agreeing to pay at least $206 billion over 25 years to fund anti-smoking campaigns and public health programs. Those funds were used to create the American Legacy Foundation, which developed the Truth youth anti-smoking campaign in 2000. Two years later the organization aired its first Super Bowl ads for the Truth campaign, created by Arnold Worldwide. (American Legacy also appeared in the 2001 game, though not under the Truth banner, with "Electrolarynx" and "46 Years Old.")
Philip Morris also ran an anti-smoking ad in Super Bowl XXXVI: "Kids' Friends."
A few weeks after "Squadron" and "Ratman" aired in the Super Bowl, however, Lorillard Tobacco Company filed a lawsuit arguing that Truth ads were "vilifying" cigarette marketers in contravention of the settlement. (The suit was actually in the works before the big game, spurred by an American Legacy radio spot that said cigarettes and dog urine both contain urea.) Lorillard lost its case in 2006 and was bought by Reynolds American in 2015.
The Truth campaign continued for many years, and Truth Initiative, as American Legacy was later renamed, claims it helped to reduce the rate of cigarette smoking among teens from 23% in 2000 to 7% in 2015.
Both "Squadron" and "Ratman" were directed by Arnold Group Creative Director Pete Favat.Send credit info to [email protected].