Thinkboxes June 2008 Winner: Department of Health, Wanna be like you

One year on from England’s ban on smoking in enclosed public places, there is an above-average smoking prevalence among blue-collar workers. As part of its ongoing £5m ‘tobacco control’ campaign, the government aimed to confront this audience by juxtaposing two important aspects of their life – smoking and family. The Department of Health wanted to highlight the fact that children are more likely to smoke if their parents do.

The hard-hitting TV ad, created by MCBD, opens with images of parents enjoying a supposedly covert cigarette in various locations outside their house, such as the front doorstep or over the garden fence. The action then moves to a child pretending to puff on a pencil in imitation of their parent. The execution reveals how parental behaviour influences children and that smoking surreptitiously is not enough to hide the habit from them. 

The ad finishes with the strapline: ‘Smoking, don’t keep it in the family.’ The thinking behind the work was to dramatise the fact that children are suggestible and that, perhaps not surprisingly, the offspring of smokers are three times more likely to become smokers in later life. The Thinkbox Academy judges made this ad a runaway winner of the June award, beating Honda’s ‘Jump’ and Carlsberg’s ‘Goal celebration’ into second and third spots respectively. 

Agency MCBD; Creative team Richard Stoney, Dave Hobbs; Director Chris Palmer; Media agency: Mediaedge:cia

Honda- Jump (2nd)

  • Agency Wieden + Kennedy 
  • Creative Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth 

Carlsberg- Goal celebration (3rd)

  • Agency Saatchi & Saatchi, London; 
  • TV Producer Rebecca Williams; 
  • Creative: Phil Clarke

Also shortlisted 

  • Barclaycard, Maid
  • Kronenbourg, Culinary Bubbles
  • Microsoft Xbox 360, Venue
  • COI/ Department of Health, Wanna be like you
  • Sony Ericsson, Caught on camera
  • Wrigley, Sardines

Click here to see who won the previous award

You might also like

Breaking ads

We update this gallery weekly with a collection of the latest and best ads breaking on TV.


A Recipe for a Perfect Sponsorship

Hear from the creative behind ‘Cake or not cake?’ and one of the most memorable sponsorships of 2022


Great ads from around the world

The best in TV advertising creative from around the world according to Thinkbox's Associate members.