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Smoke-free

The Health Promotion Agency is aiming for a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025. With many Kiwis still refusing to kick the habit, the Agency decided to shift focus to the impact it has on others, including our pets. 


The Challenge

Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of early death in New Zealand, and the Health Promotion Agency (Te Hiringa Hauora) is one of the many organisations aiming to achieve a smoking rate of less than five percent of the population in five years’ time. 

Although each cigarette packet is covered in harmful images and warnings, health consequences aren’t driving much behaviour change, especially with addiction involved. 

31 percent of Maori and 20 percent of Pasifika suffer disproportionately from smoking harm, so it was critical to launch a campaign that would inspire not only these ethnicities but New Zealand as a whole. 

New Zealand also has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, higher still for Maori. It has been proven that if you smoke around your pets, they are twice as likely to get cancer. Third-hand smoke leaves chemicals on indoor surfaces, which creates lingering harm that affects not just pets, but others in the home.  

With a media budget of under $50,000, the Health Promotion Agency needed an idea that would drive emotion and have an impact through social sharing. 

The Response

‘Quit For Your Pets’ was a joint effort between the Health Promotion Agency, the New Zealand Government agency, which lead a range of Smokefree initiatives, and Quitline, delivered by Homecare Medical. YoungShand were the agency masterminds who created, produced and promoted the campaign, a critical part of its success. 

The campaign engaged both smokers and animal lovers – meaning the positive impacts of the campaign may far outlive the campaign itself.

Support was also received by several other partners, including the SPCA who supplied specialist advice and veterinarian spokespeople and The University of Otago, which provided research that helped the development of the campaign. Maori health providers were also involved, offering cultural advice to ensure the campaign resonated with the core audience and didn’t increase stigma or discrimination. 

The Result

As a result, ‘Quit For Your Pets’ reached 1.7 million in New Zealand, with 4.5 million minutes of the campaign watched globally. It also trended on Reddit and was ranked top five YouTube ads Kiwis chose to watch in 2019. 

Most importantly, the campaign motivated smokers to quit, with Quitline receiving its highest number of visits ever. Registered quit attempts also saw a staggering 29 percent increase.

Entry details

Category: Public Sector
Company: The Health Promotion Agency 
Marketing Initiative: Quit For Your Pets
Marketing Partners: Homecare Medical, YoungShand
Judge’s Comments: “This was an emotive battlefield to take the fight to and an inspirational, engaging initiative. It’s insight driven and data driven aiming to affect behavioural change.”
Finalists: Commission for Financial Capability, Health Promotion Agency: Give Your Cervix Some Screen Time, Lotto New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand: Good Morning World and NZ Says 39


This article was originally published in the December/January 2020 issue of NZ Marketing. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

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