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140 characters to quit smoking

30-August-2013
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140 characters to quit smoking

You might have noticed bold messages in cinemas such as ‘Smoking causes cancer’, but how about a Twitter crowdsourced song on anti-smoking. #DontSmokeBecause is the first ever Twitter crowdsourced song conceptualised by Creativeland Asia for the brand Godrej Aer.

What started out as a hashtag is now a song based on a democratic message, which is compiled with 2704 tweets posted by people across India and filmed with the support of 330 people.

#DontSmokeBecause was launched on the Twitter handle of @Godrejaer and asked people to write in their reasons to avoid or quit smoking. Within five days of the launch, thousands of tweets came pouring in with hundreds of reasons. Soon after this, the video was filmed with the support of people including young college students, senior citizens, working professionals, singers, amongst others.

Beginning from the conceptualisation stage, Creativeland Asia, Mumbai built the thought of #DontSmokeBecause. This thought was further executed on Twitter by the social media team of Creativeland Asia. Post this, the in-house production team and 330 people came together to film the video.

Anu Joseph, Executive Creative Director, Creativeland Asia said, “In the early days of Twitter, we had created a successful Twitter-based campaign to track inventory for Hippo. Since then, we have continued to push ourselves to use social media properties for client partners to create value-based differentiation. #DontSmokeBecause is a step-towards using the 140-character platform inventively.”

“This is the first ever Twitter crowdsourced song. The idea was to get people to write the lyrics themselves. We launched the hashtag #DontSmokeBecause on the Twitter handle of @Godrejaer and asked people to write in their reasons to avoid or quit smoking. Within the next five days, we got thousands of tweets in response. We took the best ones, and some of the more lyrical ones, and wrote a song with the tweets,” Joseph added. The project took two months – from conceptualisation to execution.

It is a great initiative by Godrej Aer to promote anti-smoking. We have always seen ads played in cinema halls for the cause with disturbing images. However, the video is very positive and lively with messages like ‘your gulabi lips get dark’ and ‘your teeth lose their spark’.

It doesn’t highlight the symptoms and the outcomes of smoking in a very direct manner, but very intelligently it gives out a message of the disadvantages of smoking. The target audience is youth, so the idea of using Twitter to promote this message is very apt and innovative.  Using crowdsourcing as a medium is very catchy and compiling a song using the tweets will attract a lot of attention because this has been done for the first time. The video is engaging and gets a thumps up because it ends on a positive connotation that there are better things to do like kiss, smile and chew rather than smoking.

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