Pfizer reworks fairytales in Australia to help smokers kick the habit

What if Snow White didn't have the dwarves? What if Dorothy had to walk the yellow brick road alone? What if you had to quit smoking alone?

Those are the "what if" question Pfizer, the maker of smoking cessation drug Chantix, is asking with its latest campaign, which uses animated fairytales to encourage smokers Down Under to quit.

The new campaign, which is only running in Australia, is a follow-up “Harder On Your Own” Facebook campaign for Chantix, which goes by Champix outside the U.S. That campaign challenged unsuspecting actors with an audition where they had to play all the roles. 

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"The ‘Friendless Fairytales’ campaign is about extending the ‘harder on your own’ message to friends and family of smokers-- who can be so influential in each quit attempt," Russell Hind, senior brand manager for Pfizer Australia, told FiercePharmaMarketing in an email interview.

Hind said Pfizer worked with Facebook on building video engagement and with its creative agency, With Collective, and its partners Passion Pictures and animators Simon and McBess. The work is running on social media and digital channels, including the website, where users can read information and download tools to help quit smoking.

One of the key messages of the ads is “research that shows you are four times more likely to quit smoking with the help of a healthcare professional compared to quitting unaided,” Hind said, adding that "essentially it’s about showcasing you are not alone in wanting to quit smoking and there is support available from your physician and even your family and friends.”

Feedback has so far been positive--and direct, he said. The ability to connect directly with a target audience has been a definite benefit of using social media in this campaign.

The "socially optimized films" are "incredibly unique for their category," With Collective’s associate creative director Simon Fowler pointed out to Campaign Brief. “Having used this method to quit smoking myself, I'm excited to see this get results."

- watch the videos at Campaign Brief 

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Study: Pfizer's Chantix does not increase risk of depression, heart attack in smokers
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