Canadian Cancer Society

Smoke Free mockup | Canadian Cancer Society

Realizing that nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to quit, and smokers are weary of quit smoking pitches, how do you deliver a relatable message about what is often a very difficult, personal struggle?

Add to the challenge that the messaging had to be fresh since it was the first national campaign in a decade. To find the right note for positive and non-judgemental Creative, we explored various avenues with the Canadian Cancer Society, and its partners: Canadian Public Health Association, The Canadian Lung Association, Heart & Stroke and the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.


We landed on “Smoke-Free Curious?” – a campaign that took an aspirational, nuanced tact where smokers consider what they wouldn’t miss out on in smoke-free life.

Since people are now vegan-curious and inquisitive about many other lifestyle choices, we believed this campaign reflected current behaviours in society and would strike a chord with smokers ready to consider quitting.

Our integrated campaign included three situational TV commercials where individual smokers are seen breaking away to smoke during a family get together at a restaurant, while grandkids laugh on park swings, and while the guys play basketball.


The story is told in their reactions as they watch from afar, considering whether they craved smoking as much as they craved being a part of these pivotal life moments.

A microsite, social media and point-of-purchase advertising built on the theme by exploring life with more energy, free from cravings with more family time. The microsite drove awareness by featuring quit tools, such as free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), counselling and go-it-alone strategies.

A Quit to Win motivational contest challenged smokers to quit for seven days to win a prize of $1,000. Running until March 2023, the Smoke-free Curious campaign has just begun, but offers lots of promise.

“They’ve been extremely creative in understanding our vision, and they’re adaptable.”
Terry Schneider
Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Cancer Society.



The first time in 10 years to run a national smoking cessation campaign.


Fresh, original commercials that take a humanistic look at smoke-free living.

Happy clients!

The health coalition is overwhelmingly pleased with the early impact of this campaign.

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