It’s been a year since I posted the 9/11 Anti-Smoking Ad on this blog. The ad which was published on 11 September in Khaleej Times had sparked quite a strong debate online. New York copywriter and blogger Copyranter won a prize given by Bill Green for spotting this post and comments poured in. Posted on Reddit, the ad pulled in more than 200 comments. And it had all started when friends at Percept had mailed me the ad for putting up on this blog. Here’s what we are talking about:
Sudeep Koshy, who was the copywriter on this ad, called me a couple of days back to give me some interesting news. This ad has made to the EPICA Awards. Page 116, 21st Edition (2008) Public Awareness category. My blog is where it was first featured online – and although I don’t consider CopywriterJournalist.com an ad showcase blog (the world is full of them), this was an ad that had stopped me in my tracks and go uhummm. So I guess many other people feel the same way too.
This is what Sudeep says about the ad that created quite a stir: “When the idea was conceived, it was never thought to stir up any controversy. Because, the intention and message of this ad is right up there, unmistakable, in cold fact and bare figures. Besides, the context also mattered: The ad was released on 9/11 of course, which was THREE days before UAE banned smoking in public places.”
Do you think this ad is offensive? Is it right to say that it is borrowed interest or that the creatives exploited a tragedy? Have you done an ad that makes people look at it twice and go hmmm? Comments most welcome…