In “Flavors Hook Kids,” a recent campaign from Duncan Channon and the California Department of Public Health’s CA Tobacco Control Program, the message is clear: it’s time to wake up to the fact that flavored tobacco products are being targeted to kids.
Cunningly using flavors akin to childhood, such as cotton candy, strawberry shortcake, vanilla creme—just to name a few—big tobacco has steadily created products that position vaping as a familiar and attractive activity to younger audiences.
Eager to highlight these marketing and product ploys, we focused on sourcing footage that captured childhood flavor moments and contrasted them against shots of teenagers vaping those very flavors. Bringing together moments of childhood innocence with the sad scenes of kids consuming tobacco products illuminate a maddening reality that may be difficult to watch—a factor that colored the project with an array of emotions. From sifting through sensitive material to facing roadblocks when it came to securing content, it was a production journey worthy of the cause.