INSPIRING SMOKERS TO NEVER QUIT QUITTING

MSH Marque
Client:
GMHSCP

Background

Although smoking in the UK has declined in the last decade, the prevalence of smoking remains above public health targets, and is higher in Greater Manchester than other regions in England. Smoking’s impact on lives and on health services remains dramatic and, during the COVID pandemic, the numbers claiming to smoke were rising. Greater Manchester Combined Authorities needed to review their approach to promoting smoking cessation services – at the time, marketed under the ‘You Can’ brand.

Problem

Every smoker has a complex, personal relationship with their habit, and most recognise they have some level of addiction. They are well aware of the risks of continuing and the benefits of quitting, and are adept at disengaging from attempts to encourage them to stop.

Whilst almost two thirds of smokers claim they want to quit, telling them ‘You Can’ do it is at odds with their own experience. Almost 70% of smokers in Greater Manchester have tried and failed to quit before, and less than 1 in 5 quit attempts work. Some studies suggest it takes on average 30 attempts before someone quits successfully. This poor success rate is partly due to the fact that when people do try, they tend to try the least effective method – cold turkey.

So the brand had to encourage reappraisal, increase the frequency with which smokers try to quit, and to encourage them to try more effective methods when they do.

MSH 6 Sheet

Insight

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.

Solution

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 campaign launches in Q3 2021.

MSH Posters
MSH Waiting Room 1
“We’ve created a campaign that aims to be very true to Greater Manchester, featuring a range of locations and the diversity and determination of its people. It’s direct and powerful in conveying the message. Quitting isn’t easy, but every quitter wins eventually.”
Steve Royle, Creative Director
MSH Waiting Room 2
MSH Socials
“True North really immersed themselves in the challenge, developing a well-articulated strategy and brand proposition, and going above and beyond to share insight and research with wider stakeholders. They're a very hands-on team, great to work with and very engaged throughout the whole project.”
Samantha Neville, Communications & Engagement Manager, Greater Manchester Combined Authorities
MSH Paper