CategoryA13. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government

The Campaign

A sticker was created to stop a parent who smokes from opening their cigarette pack. The sticker made use of adhesive that made it very difficult for the sticker to be removed easily, without it having to be torn or damaged. The sticker was in the shape of a simple heart, and a simple question was printed on it. BREAK THE HABIT, OR BREAK MY HEART. The heart, metaphorically, belonged to the children of the smokers, who were the ones tasked with sticking the hearts onto the packs of their parents. On each sticker was a space where they could fill out their name and address it to whichever parent smoked. Emotional blackmail at its heart ripping best.

Creative Execution

An adhesive heart shaped sticker, designed to have to be torn from a pack to allow a smoker access to his all-consuming habit. The sticker itself was made so that to break into the pack, anyone would have to break the heart in two. Any child who then placed a sticker on a pack could write their name on it and make it their own. Making a simple metaphor for breaking the child’s heart if the parent continued to try and smoke from the pack. Every parent was asked to pledge their commitment to quit. The handing out of the stickers and the pledges has so far been undertaken by the all the schools of Lorna Whiston, who have over 2,000 pupils belonging to nearly 4,000 parents. The number of schools who are taking up the challenge will hopefully encompass every school in Singapore eventually.

The number of smokers in Singapore is one of the lowest in the world at 13.4% of the adult population. The government’s aim is to reduce it to under 10%. Worryingly, the number has remained at a constant 25% amongst the male population. These tend to be the real hardcore smokers who remain. The ones finding it hard to quit. The first Lorna Whiston school we collaborated with has over 2000 students, of which over 15% of parents are smokers. 100% of the parents who were confronted, pledged to quit. In the first 8 weeks of the campaign, 80% of them have stuck to the pledge. The programme is currently being rolled out to the rest of the schools in Singapore. As the first semester ends in May, more schools will take up the challenge in the new semester beginning in June.

Our media approach was the idea. For the first time ever we hi-jacked the government health warning on packs of cigarettes as a new media opportunity. This “sticker bombing” of our own message over the top of the governments health warning messages was performed by children. This “sticker bombing” turned the governments message into a very different kind of health warning for their parents – as our Heartbreak Stickers created this new media opportunity.

Insights, Strategy and the Idea

We used the children of smokers to raise the question with them as to why they still smoked, and what could be done to stop them. We used the idea of emotional blackmail of parents by their children to make them think about stopping. Each parent was asked to sign a pledge from the Singaporean Cancer Society to demonstrate their commitment to stopping smoking.


Name Company Position
Eugene Cheong Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Chief Creative Officer
Francis Wee Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Executive Creative Director
Shawnn Lai Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Creative Director
Paul Kemp Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Creative Director
Pedro Pedreira Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Associate Creative Director
Benjamin Tan Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Art Director
Leonard Koh Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Art Director
Siti Khalid Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Copywriter
Alvin Chin Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Regional Head of Creative Services
Chris Yap Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Business Director
UmaRudd Tan Ogilvy & Mather Singapore Account Director
Roslee Yusof Freeflow Productions Director
Liang Yaomin Freeflow Productions Producer
Joswell Tan Freeflow Productions Editor
Chin Wen Khien Freelancer Colourist
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