I came across this poster from the NHS the other day.
Here’s the copy close up:
It has a clear anti-smoking message and is quite clever in the way it talks directly to youngsters but doesn’t harangue them about the dangers of smoking. Instead it makes them think about the other members of their family who may smoke, with a subtext that says ‘hey, don’t end up like your old man’.
The problem I have with this ad is in the headline. Not the double negative; I can live with that. It’s that no skater would ever refer to a 360 as being a ‘360 spin’. It’s just a three-sixty, plain and simple. What’s more, doing a 360 is a doddle. Even I could do them, when I did that sort of thing. A kickflip is harder. A heelflip harder still.
Pedantry? Not really. Not if your target audience takes one look at the poster and decides the writer hasn’t got a clue what he or she is talking about.
The agency responsible is Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, for whom I have loads of respect. I’m anticipating a rebuke from them pointing out that an actual skater came up with the headline, the ad researched well everywhere and that six weeks after its run, all young smokers had quit. And their dads.