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Bryn Spielvogel Professor Mateer LA 101H February 27, 2012 The Cost of Smoking

I dont know anyone who doesnt know smoking kills. For the last 20 years, throughout most kids childhoods, ads decrying smoking have ruled school. Those ads display young adults looking shriveled and sick; lungs filled with black soot; children in hospital beds due to exposure to second hand smoke. One might wonder why anyone would start smoking at all. However, there are still plenty of smokers in the world, and at this point few do not realize that they are taking on a risk. So if they know what could happen to them, do health-oriented ads have any effect? For some, yes. For many, no many smokers nowadays need even greater motivation to quit. By using a subtly crafted combination of emotion-evoking imagery and logical text,

Tabaconomias ad takes a new, applicable stance on smoking, bringing the audience to reevaluate their ideologies and lifestyles and to ultimately quit their smoking habit. The image of a crashed car draws viewers into the ad, subtly appealing to the emotional side of the issue while still maintaining the overall commonsensical feeling. A crashed car is a difficult thing to look away from, whether it is on a road or a page. In this ad, the gold-orange color of the car on a stark grey background draws special attention to the piece. Additionally, its strange shape leads one to contemplate the image for at least a few seconds. Once the entire image is taken in, it is clear what this oddly crushed car is meant to resemble; with its charred, smoking front and its crooked body, the car looks like a cigarette in an ash tray. The image implies that smoking cigarettes is basically equal to smoking a car away, or generally wasting good money. However, not only does the visual appeal to this reasonable argument, it also serves to bring an emotional appeal to the ad. While Tabaconomia was careful to avoid the overused pathetic images of suffering and disease, the image of the car carries with it an underlying emotional meaning. For most people, car crashes are associated with destruction. Thus, the image of a cigarette-like car reflects the idea that cigarettes can destroy a life just like a car crash can. Because the rhetorical audience of this ad has likely encountered plenty of emotional appeals discouraging smoking, the subtleness of this one is especially powerful. Instead of pointing fingers and openly condemning smoking, the ad serves to bring the audience to contemplation. It allows smokers to evaluate their own habits and beliefs, rather than trying to force them to immediately change their practices due to a harshly direct appeal. Emotional and logical appeals both take a hand in this, and the car visual plays off both of these to create an effective ad. However, the image is virtually useless on its ownit is the ads text that brings it into perspective.

The ads text brings with it the strong logical argument that brings the whole piece together. While the image of the car first attracts the viewers eye, its somewhat confusing nature quickly draws the attention to the small, grey words to the right of the image: do you know how much/ you really spend/ on cigarettes? Below these words, the name of the website appears in black. Even though the website name appears in darker font, the use of billowing smoke and word alignment for the first phrase brings the eyes to it first. Yet the small font points to the fact that these words are supposed to be subtlethe reader is certainly supposed to see them, but the image is the main focus. What makes the text in this ad effective is that there is really no secret meaning beyond what the words say. Because of this, it leads the audience to contemplation, and it leads their eyes back to the image. How much does the audience spend on cigarettes? Only they knowbut the ad implies that it is enough to afford a car. Whether or not this is true is irrelevant; the point is that the ad effectively brings the audience to analysis, which is exactly the point. Nowhere in the ad does it tell the smoker what to do. Nowhere does it say that the viewer should quit smoking. However, by asking a question, Tabaconomia gets the audience actively involved in the ad. The website supplements this idea by providing an actual calculation of smoking costs. The idea is that, whether or not the smoker chooses to visit the website, they will realize that they spend too much on cigarettes, and make the logical decision to quit smoking. However no matter how convincing the ad is to some, the more skeptical viewers will only trust an ad with a credible source. Although this ads extremely effective use of imagery and text means a great amount of ethos is likely unnecessary, the name Tabaconomia provides a certain amount of credibility for the audience. The website Tabaconomia was developed by the government of Sao Paulo, Brazil, to encourage people to evaluate the economic impact of their habit, hopefully leading them to

stop. Any question of the validity of this ad or the website is disputed by the Brazilian governments involvement in the campaign, which adds a large amount of credibility to the cause. However, this ad is a subtle one; rather than directly telling the audience what to do or buy, it poses a question that gets them thinking. Because of this, the audience is less likely to demand great credibility from the ads producer. Not anyone can convince someone to buy a product, but anyone can pose a question. However, this ad does make the implication that a smoker might spend enough on cigarettes to buy a car, which could create skepticism in the audience. The name Tabaconomia suggests some association with tobacco and the economy, but to a cynical viewer, this would probably not convince them of the creators ethos. However, the ad invites the audience to learn more by visiting the website name, listed on the ad in black, bold lettering. By using darkened text and placing the website name in a central location, the ads creators suggest that the audience should, in fact, visit the websitethat it is a legitimate source, and that visiting will only increase the ads effectiveness. In checking out the website, a viewer would discover that its purpose is to calculate how much any person actually does spend on cigarettes, further increasing its credibility. No longer is the ad simply leaving an open question; it provides an answer if the audience is interested enough. In order to gain a rhetorical audience among smokers and those that influence them, the ad uses a different and new rationale focused on fiscal concerns rather than those of health and longevity. When thinking of ads that discourage smoking, images of grotesquely deformed lungs and stained mouths oftentimes come to mind. Advertisers aim to scare the audience into submission; they show smokers what might become of them if they continue along that path. Health is one of the primary concerns among these ads, and for some people that rationale is enough to force them to change their habits. However, this ad takes a very different approach. It

seems that many smokers have learned to tune out the anti-cigarette pleas aimed at them; they understand the health risks that come with their habit, but they either take on those risks or find themselves unable to stop smoking. Tabaconomia directs their ad at these smokers, along with those that influence them, rhetorically engaging them with the use of a new argument: not only is smoking bad for health, it also drains bank accounts. This new monetary approach reaches out to those that decided they are willing to risk sacrificing their health for their habitit shows them that perhaps they are also sacrificing much of their money. While a risk implies that there is a possibility that nothing will go wrong, the loss of money is definite. Additionally, health is a largely individual concern. Even though the demise of someones health could have an emotional toll on their loved ones, the loss of money oftentimes has a more direct effect on them. Thus, this ad reaches out to not only the smoker, but to those that influence and are influenced by them; the ads fiscal approach brings a new argument to the table, providing yet another reason to reevaluate the habitanother argument against smoking. For smokers, this push to quit, from a different angle, could make the difference between giving up and fighting to stop the habit. However, the audience will only be interested in a certain contextone in which they care how much money they spend. Tabaconomia strategically released this new fiscally centered argument against smoking during a moment in which the argument was sure to take offan economic downturnthus giving the call to action urgency and validity. Most people believe in the commonplace that says money matters. While obviously most people believe that health matters too, smokers nowadays live with an ideology that says that their bodies are their property, and it is their choice as to whether they want to take a risk with their health. For some, this ideology might apply to finances too, but there are few people that can afford to throw money away, which is what this ad

implies smoking cigarettes does. In a time of economic prosperity, spending aimless money might not seem like a huge deal. However, a downturn uproots this idea. This makes a fiscally logical approach to the smoking issue very effective; when money is tight, any way to reduce costs is duly noted. Because the ad promotes economic evaluation, the timing of its use is vitally important. Its release a year after the start of the worlds economic downturn makes it especially effective in logically and emotionally appealing to the audience. It supports the commonplace that money is important, and by forcing contemplation of the text it calls for a change in the ideology that smoking is acceptable if the risks are known. Tabaconomias subtle yet powerful ad aims to convince smokers to evaluate the impact of their habit, especially in the financial sense. Avoiding a direct attack on smokers, the ads creators realized that no one can really tell another person how to live their life. The best that can be done is opening someones eyes to new perspectives, which allows them to reevaluate their own beliefs. That is just what this ad does, and thanks to its effectiveness, there are probably a few less smokers in the world. But the government of Sao Paulo probably does not just want a few less smokersit wants a change. It most likely hopeslike so many people dothat someday it will not be necessary to fill schools with anti-cigarette posters. Tabaconomias ad campaign is part of a greater movement that aims to make cigarettes a thing of the past. Every piece of effective anti-smoking advertising works towards this goal, and this ads successful use of rhetorical strategies makes it a vital part of that movement. So maybe, someday, no one will know that smoking kills, because smoking truly will be a thing of the past.

Works Cited Mariza. "Tabaconomia Campaign: Know How Much Your Cigarettes Can Buy For You!" Trends Updates. Trends Updates, 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. <http://trendsupdates.com/tabaconomia-campaign-know-how-much-yourcigarettes-can-buy-for-you/>. Master Comunicacau. Advertisement. Ads of the World. N.d. Web. <http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/tabaconomia_calculates_tobacco_costs_car> Tabaconomia. Brazilian Ministry of Health, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http:www.tabaconomia.com/br/?lang=pt>