01.05.2010 Anti-smoking campaign «It’s logical, really» had an emotional impact

Evaluation of 2009 anti-smoking campaign. The consensus-oriented anti-smoking campaign «Less smoke, more life» took the slogan «Eigentlich logisch» (It’s logical, really) for its fourth, 2009 edition. Its awareness and acceptance levels were as high as those of the 2008 campaign, and not smoking is now taken for granted.

Pictures Anti-smoking campaign «It’s logical, really» had an emotional impact


The principal aim of the 2009 campaign, i.e. to further strengthen the social change embodied by the idea that «not smoking is taken for granted» in everyday life, was achieved by a clear margin: 66% of interviewees for the evaluation agreed with this proposition on not smoking (2008: 61%). At the rational level, the 2009 campaign as a whole met with a very high level of acceptance: 80 to 90% of interviewees considered it clear, easy to understand, credible, respectful, necessary and purposeful. These high values matched those of the 2008 evaluation (80 to 87%), which is not surprising given that the approach chosen for the 2009 campaign was, like its predecessor, very positive and consensus-based.

Improvement measures were effective
To increase awareness of the campaign, there was a greater focus on TV spots and testimonial advertisements in 2009. In add­ition, the campaign involved people from all sectors of the population and a small selection of celebrities. This approach paid off: 75% of interviewees remembered the 2009 campaign (assisted recall) – which was much higher than the previous year’s figure (54%). Some of the main shortcomings of the 2008 campaign were also remedied in 2009. The sympathy factor rose from 68 to 77%, and the campaign also had a slightly greater emotional impact: 58 to 61% of interviewees considered the campaign beneficial, effective and motivating, and 51% found that it gave them pause for thought. The 2008 figures for these questions ranged from 51 to 57%. The 2009 campaign’s greater emotional efficacy was probably due primarily to the testimonial-based approach used in both the TV spots and printed advertisements. The campaign’s TV spots focused on people and their real-life statements about smoking or about an experience with a smoker close to them that had affected them deeply. This latently «home story» style found a particularly high level of acceptance among women and 46 – 65 year olds. However, men and the younger age groups were less impressed by this form of dramatisation.

Logical next step: really motivate people to take action
As in 2008, a rather modest effect on behaviour was at odds with the high levels of acceptance. Only 40% of interviewees (about 20% of them smokers) felt personally motivated by the campaign to take action (as, for instance: «The campaign motivates me to be more active on behalf of non-smokers’ rights» or «The campaign motivates me to give up smoking»). The 2008 evaluation had reported a comparable level of motivation (38 to 40%). These relatively low values were to be expected and are not grounds for concern – the campaigns of the last few years had not been designed primarily to persuade people to give up smoking or change their behaviour. The main aim was to create a broad consensus in the general public that not smoking could be taken for granted. This goal has now been achieved and the path has been cleared for a promising 2010–2012 campaign that will  courageously break new ground.

FOPH’s high level of credibility
The evaluation also indicates that these tasks continue to be in the right hands, i.e. the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH): two-thirds of interviewees consider that the FOPH’s tobacco control programmes have been successful and have brought about a great deal of change. Eighty percent believe that the FOPH provides the public with information on the risks associated with smoking in a credible manner.


Albert Gemperle, Campaigns Section, albert.gemperle@bag.admin.ch

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