California Tobacco Control Program


California Tobacco Control Program, "Wake Up"

Here's a fun fact. Teens who vape are three times more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes one year later. In other words, Big Tobacco is hooking an entire new generation of smokers right under our noses. As part of the California Tobacco Control Program's ongoing crusade against e-cigarettes, we created a series of spots to expose these dirty truths.


We chose the asterisk as a symbol of our campaign because it represents everything Big Tobacco and e-cigarettes stand for: deceit wrapped in half-truths.


One of Big Tobacco's oldest tricks is targeting kids with fun flavors like wild cherry and chocolate. We played off of their methods of deceit with print pieces as colorful and candy-flavored as their toxic products.


Every component of our campaign points to stillblowingsmoke.org, a comprehensive resource on vaping and its devastating effects on your body.


While the "Wake Up" campaign has won its fair share of prizes, including a Silver Effie and a Pixel Award, the best recognition we've received to date came right after our TV spot launched. Our co-worker overheard someone quoting the statistics from our commercial verbatim to his friend who was vaping. Mission accomplished.


Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Photographers Justin Fantl, Sean Murphy
Writer Jessea Perry