According to the latest Health Canada poll, the much heralded placement of cancerous deathlike graphics across the top of cigarette packages is ineffective at persuading smokers to try to kick the habit.Unfortunately I am both a smoker and a believer of Wilson Bryan Keyes theories of subliminal advertising. I made my tin foil hat from the foil in cigarette packages.
Anyway, according to Keyes, cigarette advertisers inserted hellish cancerous deathlike imagery into their cigarette advertising to target the “subconscious death wish” inherent in the majority of smokers.Based on Keyes theories, I'm really surprised that more people didn't start smoking.
Simply stated his theory was that smokers were well aware of the risks of smoking and were in fact rebelling against the perceived norms of society at a semi-conscious level.
To target the rebelliousness of the act of smoking, advertisers implanted hidden and obscure, imagery, graphics, effects and phrases into their ads to increase the subconscious risk taking of the smoker.
The Health Canada campaign would of been more successful if they had forced the manufacturers to place puppies, flowers, rainbows and teddy bears on the packages.
My suggestion to the anti-smoking lobby at Health Canada is to just write "Your Choice" on the pack and leave it at that.
In case they are going to become a collectible in the future, I have placed my two favorites cigarette graphics at the top. These are the two that I always ask for.
Strangely Health Canada decided to release the flaccid cigarette graphic, a month before the erect cigarette graphic. Personally I thought this was totally backwards and in fact ended up giving a completely opposite message to the what was intended.
Reference: The Gazette here.