Full disclosure: I smoked for 25 years and have been smoke free for the last 7 years. Not that it matters.
The “social nibbler” ad has been blasted to me right around the dial in Ontario, Canada. I can see making this ad and putting it up on the government health site. But to be broadcast as much as it is, there is serious money behind this ad.
Let’s look at the demographic it is being aimed at. That is the social smoker. In my 25 years of smoking the vast majority of smokers I knew were addicted. Only a tiny minority of smokers were social smokers, perhaps 10 percent. In the Canada of today, only 20 percent of the population smokes. So that means the ads are targeting about 2 percent of the population.
But I, and smokers in particular, can get behind this ad because it shows the sheer moochiness and audacity of the social smoker. The ad shows the social nibbler taking part of the food of patrons in restaurants. And not giving back any food himself. Indeed the social nibbler never buys a pinch of food in the entire ad although grabbing tasty amounts from his passive friends.
I applaud the government in showing this leech behaviour for what it really is. You have now rung that bell. Let’s show parasitic behaviour for what it really is. Spread this new ideal from just the smoking demographic.
How about targeting that person that is always bumming money? Show that if you always bum $10 from a victim every week, you are forcing that victim to always have an extra $10. C’mon you advertising yuksters, show us in a funny commercial how to lead that bum to payday loan places where they have to pay for each loan.
Or how about a commercial about politicians? They pull the wool over our eyes in the most basic ways. For instance they tell us they are leading, when if you look at the money that baits them by supporters, you find out that they are simply following the money and not leading at all. That could be a good, funny commercial.
How about it? Let’s put government money toward shaming shameful activities. Even the shameful activities in government. Equal rights for non smokers.
The government of Ontario decided they could save lives and health care money if they could get social smokers to quit before they got addicted. There was just one problem. How do you convince someone to stop doing something they won’t admit they’re doing? After all, they weren’t smoking. They were “social” smoking. We took away their social safe place, using humour to show how ridiculous using the word “social” to justify smoking really was.