Loony Lungs by Saatchi & Saatchi

With the advent of a new year comes a new campaign designed to shock  hardened nicotine addicts into stubbing their cigarettes (and habits) out. Comissioned by QUIT as part of their long term campaign against the foul habit, Saatchi and Saatchi have taken a step away from graphic depictions of tumours and lungs (which to my eye always look suspiciously fake – the man with the throat cancer appeared to have a large steak wrapped around his neck) and plunged admirably into something more abstract and dark.

Reminiscent of Adult Swim and Newgrounds (the latter taking up an inordinate amount of my time between 2003 – 2004), the campaign follows the misadventures of  two ‘Loony Lungs’ being, in no particular order: eaten by piranhas, electrocuted and savaged by dogs. Skydiving without a parachute is also heavily featured.

The Loony Lungs will also be featured outside selected Underground stations plus pubs and bars , and will no doubt attract significant attention from night time revelers.

Whilst there is no doubt of the creativity and imagination of the campaign, the gravitas of the effects of smoking is somewhat lost in translation when watching two lungs dangling from a vine with a shoal of carnivorous fish massing beneath them. A huge health risk like smoking can’t be solved overnight by a few viral videos, but the stat’s don’t lie (sorry Mark Twain) – the number of people who managed to quit in 2010 increased by 4% from the previous year.  So it seems the good people at Saatchi and Saatchi X are doing something right, and all for an admirable cause.

However, this does leave me yearning for a slightly more serious and graphic smoking  campaign, akin to the ones seen here.

As a means of shocking one’s target audience and forcing an immediate reaction, some of these campaigns are unparalleled in their directness. Nothing hits harder than attacking the main focus behind humanity’s natural instinct: to reproduce. Therefore any attack on virility and family is effective – particularly for men. Highlighting ‘passive smoking’ was one of the main triumphs behind anti smoking campaigns of the 90’s in creating awareness of the dangers posed to family and friends when lighting up.

That said, smoking is still seen as a form of youthful rebellion for many. Images of such icons as James Dean and River Phoenix with Marlboros clamped firmly between their lips still resonate with young people. The ‘live fast die young’ mentality is embodied by these two men who were cut off in their prime and smoking is seen as part of this image. People don’t start accepting their mortality until familial and financial responsibilities creep up on them – but anti smoking  campaigns sure as hell speed the process up. So despite my misgivings, I applaud any attempt to dissuade this foul habit and look forward to seeing more updates on the crazy capers of the Loony Lungs.

A Friday Social Media Round-Up

Friday Round Up
It’s been a busy week as per usual at Diffusion Media Towers! Having recovered from the collective hangover inflicted by Mark’s 30th birthday celebrations, we’ve found time between our packed schedules to share with you the best of viral videos, social media news and goings on in house:

First of all, a look at our latest campaign with Burger King Singapore which follows the adventures of a vilgilante giant chicken standing up for the rights of the downtrodden Singaporean (think he may have got some tips from these guys and informing the island nation of new delicious chicken based products, what more could you want? Check out the video here:

On a similarly avian note, Angry Birds (the dumbfoundingly popular Iphone App, in case you are devoted to blackberry) is due to be released as an animated series. Seemingly not content with selling over 12 million units, they’ve branched into talk shows on Israeli TV and with this project in the pipe works (via @Mashable) Rovio look set to hit more gold.

Now, everyone texts. We spend hours of our days peering at screens, frantically punching out messages and emails to co workers and friends. But most of manage to keep this and water sports separate. Not this unfortunate woman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWtDpGM36J8) who is now in the process of suing Berkshire Mall for failing to respond to her fall. I guess, like the rest of us, they were doubled up laughing.

Elsewhere, Ricky Gervais gained both plaudits and critics with a controversial (yet hilarious) opening speech at the 2011 Golden Globes.

Defying the normally tepid approach of previous hosts, Gervais’s razor sharp wit scythed through the room, leaving stars like Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie shell shocked. Something tells me Gervais won’t be getting an invite for the next awards ceremony… But at least he’s agreed to appear in the American version of the Office!

Games like Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt have created headlines for their shocking content and are frequently played by kids far younger than the 18+ certificate displayed on the game casing. Normally concerned parents are normally disgusted by the explicit material that makes up the gaming experience – but not Dino Ignacio. When confronted by the cheery sight of a man being disemboweled here , she just laughs manically. A sign of the times maybe? Or just an elderly Hispanic woman with a taste for gratuitous violence? We’ll let you decide.

Now for some far more important updates from the offices of the 7th Chamber. We are happy to announce that productivity and efficiency is set to increase massively with the introduction of a PS3 complete with Fifa 11 and COD. Requests for meeting room ‘brainstorms’ are at an all time high. Meanwhile, tensions are have reached fever pitch due to the impending Grape/7th Chamber 4 a side derby. Insults are being flung around Outlook. Threats are being made. The atmosphere in the office is crackling with energy. Both sides are going into the fixture confident, but there can only be one winner.

Check back next week for the outcome of this clash of the titans and more news, oddity and work-distracting video content from the wonderful world of viral and social media.