Wednesday, May 23

Middle Age

I have to be honest and say that most anti-smoking advertising doesn't work for me.  I just believe that scare tactics typically don't work, and if you haven't quit smoking by now then a 30 second spot on television trying to scare you isn't going to be motivating.

And then I saw the most recent executions which I have titled "Middle Age."  In this new campaign, a husband talks about losing his wife at a young age, not at all realizing that when he first met her she was in her middle age.  She was 46 when she died.  Wow.

I have to say that this is hitting home.  I've had a number of colleagues either go through major health issues, some leading to their passing.  We've also seen a number of celebrities pass along recently, many of them at a very early "middle age."  Seeing the passing of Donna Summer last week hit me hard in this way as well.  I grew up with her!  She was "middle age" at 32!  It makes me question when I hit my "middle age."  Have I hit that already?  How will we ever know?

I guess that's the point of the campaign, right?  Which is why I guess the campaign is so compelling.

What do you think?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect series
Professor, NYU

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