New Zealand Ministry of Health

28 Minutes

“Each cigarette reduces my life by 28 minutes.” We took this deep insight about smoking and printed it on the pavements of Rotorua.


The Story:

Black believes in the power of deep insights. Top-of-mind willpower or determination is not enough to permanently dislodge a compulsion like smoking. It takes a deeper insight, such as 28 Minutes.

28 Minutes is a Black-developed social marketing campaign. Its central insight: on average each cigarette reduces your life by 28 Minutes.

Some smokers have given themselves permission to ignore conventional cessation campaigns. In response, Black incorporated a high degree of outdoor and environmental marketing in the 28 Minutes campaign concepts: plastering 2-metre poster decals on footpaths in places where billboards and bus shelter posters are normally never seen; and wrapping trees in public places to look like huge cigarettes. It is all about cutting through smoker complacency to present a message that cannot be ignored.

28 Minutes was speculatively proposed to the Ministry of Health. The concept was accepted and ran in Rotorua in 2011, using the outdoor poster elements of the campaign – driving smokers to a txt and 0800 number, to redeem a quit pack.

The key difference that sets this cessation campaign apart from all others is right there on the posters. It is an insight smokers can use every day for encouragement towards permanent change. With 28 Minutes we’re giving them a truth that will affirm their decision to quit every day. They knew cigarettes were costing them life. Now they’ll know how much. They are not just giving up smoking, they are stopping the loss of their life, 28 Minutes at a time.

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