Friends of Cancer Patients in Dubai was looking for a new way to break the intergenerational cycle of smoking culture. The tagline, “Children who watch their parents smoke are twice as likely to start smoking”, was linked with narratives and paintings, showing the ways in which impressionable children model themselves on significant adults in their lives.
I’ve learnt the F-word. Today Uncle Raghavan, Aunt Mythili and my cousins Krishna and Ranjni visited after many months. Cousin Krishna looked like he was praying all evening. He never looked up from his videogame and kept muttering. Yessss, noooo and Shit. But after dinner he said something that made Uncle Raghavan scream, NEVER use the F-word!!!!
I couldn’t hear clearly, but I think the F-word was either Fire or Fish. Maybe Uncle hated fish like my best friends Babita and Nandini. Maybe he too found fish very smelly. But surely Uncle wsan’t scared of fire because he wasn’t scared when Daddy held up his lighter. He infact leaned forward for daddy to light his cigarette. aunty also lit her cigarette and started narrating old stories that made Mama laugh a lot. They hadn’t met in such a long time, but were talking like best friends. That’s when I knew that when you’re with true friends, SMOKING CIGARETTES MAKES THE FRIENDSHIP EVEN BETTER. I can’t wait to tell Babita and Nandini that I’ve found a way to make our friendship stronger. And since Uncle is not scared of fire, the F-word is definately FISH!
I can hold my breath underwater for 12.4 seconds!!! PAPA took me with him to a hotel because he had a Brainstorm and he did not want to leave me home alone. I thought they were going to open PAPA’s head, but a Brainstorm is just a meeting to think of business plans. The hotel had a very big pool and the lifeguard had a digital watch that he used to time me when I went underwater.
When I got bored, I stayed in the shallow end and looked at Papa and his work friends who worked by the poolside. Often someone would put his hand up, say something and the others would make unhappy faces like Mr Bean.
On the second day, PAPA was writing while hanging a cigarette from the corner of his lips, which looked very smart. Then he started saying something. They listened, they smiled and then they all clapped and two of them jumped into the pool with me. They told me that PAPA was the smartest man in the whole world. I was so happy that held my breath, went underwater and realised CIGARETTES MUST BE FULL OF SMART IDEAS that would help me before my science project next week. I came up to see PAPA and the lifeguard smiling. I had a new record. 12.4 seconds!!
Mom started the fight. Not with me, but with DAD. I said I would sit quietly and watch SPONGEBOB, but she made that angry face, put her left arm on her hip and raised her right arm towards my room. She looked just like superman. I pretended to go to my room, but sat down on the stairs and watched quietly. Mom kept asking questions and Dad didn’t know the answers just like in my History test. Dad said something to mom, which obviously wasn’t right because she started to cry and pushed him away. Now Dad got angry as well and walked to the porch. OUTSIDE, i saw him greedily smoke a cigarette, while inside MOM wiped her TEARS and blew her nose.
Dad finished his cigarette and returned by MOM’s side. He said something, she said something and suddenly they stopped FIGHTING and were back to normal. Now i know Dad’s trick. Tomorrow i will have to show mom my terrible score in the History test, but IF I SMOKE A CIGARETTE BEFORE SHOWING IT TO HER I’M SURE SHE WON’T GET ANGRY WITH ME. THEN BACK TO SPONGEBOB.
The Friends of Cancer Patients campaign was developed at Saatchi & Saatchi, Amsterdam, Netherlands, by creative director Magnus Olsson, art directors/copywriters Tim Bishop and Avinash Sampath, illustrator Gregory Ferrand and retoucher Jeroen Wartenbergh.