GSK have launched a great direct to consumer Ad for its smoking cessation brand Niquitin. The Ad called “You From the Future” and it tells the story of  a woman who is standing outside a restaurant talking to another woman. We find out quickly that it’s the same woman but one of them is from the future. It’s a future where she has given up smoking. To encourage and support her younger self she gives glimpses of the future and tells her little stories of how she can to stop smoking telling her that she did quit but there were moments along the way where she gave in and had a cigarette at a party but it didn’t derail her completely.


I like the way its told. Its shot in a similar style to the Time Travellers Wife and the way that it taps into the psychology of smoking cessation in recognising that there are good days and bad days in the journey to quitting smoking and also that people need support and inner strength to keep steadfast on their goal. The team that made this recognised that the brand needed to have some sort of oracle /protector personality and that the insights into successful quitting included that people are most influenced by visions of themselves in the future. Imaging you in the future allows the person to take control. I’m guessing there were many insights and metaphors from smokers  about being trapped and powerless and possibly not being able to think of  future without cigarettes.

The key message of  you can get there one cigarette at a time is a power support message that is played visually and told through story during the Advert as a journey hence the metaphor of getting there. The brand offers help during each for those daily steps to reaching the end of the journey.

I’m really interested in the concept of temporal anomalies with people meeting themselves in the past or future and story characters interacting with each other in ways that a were not planned by the author. Great examples of this are Back To the Future , Forest Gump  and more recently Heroes . I’m researching this as a way of embedding metaphors in communication in an interesting way for audiences. Using  known stories and creating a subplot  where I can use the main story characters and story setting to make my audiences understand my messages with greater relevance.

(Disclaimer: I do not work for GSK- Actually I work for Novartis another pharmaceutical company and I am involved in COPD. I am writing this  blog from a personal view and these view do not represent the view of Novartis. )