Smokers see quitting as a test of themselves, one that you either pass or fail – a view compounded by focussing on positive stories of success from ex-smokers. Consequently, many smokers who’ve tried to quit before think they don’t have sufficient willpower to succeed and put off trying again through fear or lack of self-esteem.
But when quitting is understood as something that you get better at with practice, it lessens that fear of failure and makes trying different methods simply part of becoming a better quitter.
The brand celebrates the determination of quitters, rather than the achievement of becoming an ex-smoker.
Rebranding the offer as Make Smoking History, the brand is positioned more like a personal coach than a public service. Always honest about the challenges of quitting, able to tailor support and advice to improve performance, and not afraid to deliver the occasional home-truth.
The brand identity takes cues from sports brands in its use of challenging messages, bold type and vibrant colour, and the marque features a strikethrough in an echo of ‘no smoking’ signs.
The launch campaign – Never Quit Quitting – publicly praises the efforts of all kinds of quitters across Greater Manchester, and introduces the offer of free local support that can make them three times more likely to succeed.
Collaborating with Doodledo Motion across TV, social media, radio, poster sites and partner channels, executions motivate smokers to think differently about quitting, and encourage quitters to keep going.
The Never Quit Quitting campaign delivered significant increases in quitting and has directly contributed to long-term behavioural change:
74% of smokers in Greater Manchester took some action to quit after seeing the campaign (82% amongst 30-40 year olds), well ahead of previous stop smoking campaign benchmarks of 50%.
43% of smokers were found to have quit or be in the process of a quit attempt after seeing the campaign.
Following the campaign, the proportion of smokers in Greater Manchester currently quitting has doubled. The proportion of smokers putting a timeframe on their next quit attempt and the number claiming they want to stop have also doubled.
There have also been significant changes in attitudes towards how to quit, with 30% of those quitting now accessing support or help to do so, and a steep reduction in those claiming that willpower is the only way to quit. This is hugely important as using support and aids is proven to make each quit attempt up to three times more likely to succeed.
And there is also evidence of positive behavioural change amongst those still smoking, attributable to exposure to the campaign. Dependency on cigarettes amongst smokers in the region decreased significantly (using the Fagestrom scale), with those showing signs of low dependency increasing from 33% pre-campaign to 40% post-campaign.