Post B: ‘Scared Smokeless’

Campaigns for tobacco control have used design as an effective medium in delivering confronting messages about the effects tobacco can have on your health as well as others. But to what extent do these design initiatives have to go to in order to bring awareness? The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) responded by implementing “extensive tobacco regulatory strategies, including the enactment of comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship activities. Such bans have been shown to be effective in reducing tobacco consumption, both in developed countries and in developing countries” (Kasza, K. et al 2011) It seems that being passive about this problem isn’t how some design agencies decide to solve the problem; which in turn leads to very provoking designs.

Let’s take a look at one of the most famous shock advertising anti-smoking campaigns; the 2007 ‘Get Unhooked’ designed by the advertising agency Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy in London. Funded by the UK Department of Health, this ad was a series of confronting images and videos of people with fishhooks in their mouths in which a clear comparison is drawn with the addictive nature of tobacco and encouraging smokers to quit. The controversial nature of this design initiative was hugely successful; becoming “one of the most famous advertising campaigns during the entire year, attracting a whopping 90% awareness among smokers and the highest ever volume of response from any anti-smoking campaign previously run by the Department of Health.” (Haynes 2012) despite it being recalled due to the 774 complaints it received with its shocking and graphic nature. This “five-week campaign sparked hundreds of complaints from people who found the images offensive, frightening and distressing, particularly to children.” (BBC News) yet the Department of Health argues against the Advertising Standards Authority in believing that the campaign helped to deliver a clear message to smokers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

According to BBC News, the Department of Health said an “anti-smoking helpline and website had been contacted more than 820,000 times during the Get Unhooked campaign” and added “that he believed the adverts had achieved the right balance between raising awareness of the dangers of smoking and its addictive nature, with the need to do so responsibly and in line with industry codes.” (BBC News) The transdisciplinary creation of this campaign that was developed “with health professionals…had not meant to cause distress”. (BBC News) yet its success supports the idea that “Antismoking messages that produce strong emotional arousal, particularly personal stories or graphic portrayals of the health effects of smoking, tend to perform well; they are perceived to be more effective than others, are more memorable, and generate more thought and discussion.” (Durkin J.S et al 2009).

 (Jaramillo 2007)
 (TheAdMonkey 2007)

Likewise, Laura Wallis in her article ‘Scared Smokeless: Graphic Antismoking Ads Increase Quitting Attempts’ claims that “According to one new study, ads that evoke strongly negative emotions like fear or sadness, or highly graphic images of diseased lungs and other smoking-related illness, are more effective than other types of ads in getting people to try to quit.” This is reinforced by the New York Adult Tobacco Survey which analysed 8,780 current smokers over the age of 18 (2003-2010) and found that “greater exposure to highly emotional or graphic ads to be positively associated with quitting attempts in the previous 12 months, whereas exposure to ads that focused on advice on quitting, offered encouragement to quit, or highlighted the dangers of secondhand smoke had no such association.” (Wallis 2013) Indeed, “some experts have criticized fear-based anti-smoking campaigns, saying they go too far or that their short-term benefits fade once their audiences become inured to the images, but the evidence in this study makes a strong counterargument that such ads do in fact work.” (Wallis 2013)

Ultimately, it seems that these type of ‘in your face’ design initiatives are able to grab people’s attention despite its gruesome nature, as the ‘Get Unhooked’ campaign’s “phenomenal success amongst its target audience…went on to win Marketing Week’s Best Campaign of the Year award in 2008.” (Haynes 2012) So who’s had the last laugh now?

Reference List:

BBC News. 2007. Hooked Smoking Ads ‘broke rules’, UK, viewed 14 December 2017, <;

Durkin, S.J., Biener, L & Wakefield, A. M. ‘Effects of Different Types of Antismoking Ads on Reducing Disparities in Smoking Cessation Among Socioeconomic Subgroups.’ American Journal of Public Health, vol 99, no. 12, pp. 2217-2223.

Georghiou, N. 2007, Get Unhooked, adeevee, viewed 14 December 2017, <;

Haynes, R. 2012. Design Insight: The most shocking anti-smoking posters ever made!, solopressblog, weblog, viewed 14 December 2017, <;

Jaramillo, R. 2007, get unhookedvideo recording, YouTube, viewed 14 December 2017, <;

Kasza, K. A., Hyland, A. J., Brown, A., Siahpush, M., Yong, H.-H., McNeill, A. D., Cummings, K. M. “The Effectiveness of Tobacco Marketing Regulations on Reducing Smokers’ Exposure to Advertising and Promotion: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol 8, no. 2, pp. 321-340.

TheAdMonkey. 2007, NHS anti smoking – hooked, video recording, YouTube, viewed 14 December 2017, <;

Wallis, L. “Scared Smokeless: Graphic Antismoking Ads Increase Quitting Attempts”, The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 113, no. 2, pp. 16.




Post D: Batik’s Battle against Modernisation

Usually when we think of traditional Indonesian fashion, we think of colour…and lots of it. With over 300 ethnic groups present in Indonesia, each one has their own regional costume that is unique to them. However, due to the pressures of fast modernization, are the ancient methods of textile production such as balik being lost?

Batik is the oldest form of textile decoration present in Indonesia, which uses a dyeing process where “melted wax is applied on the cloth with a special pen called ‘canting” (Haake 1989). This would reserve the white areas of the cloth, which is then removed post boiling. Thus, the repetition of this technique would lead to beautiful patterns and vibrant colours.

The batik is very significant in Indonesian culture and history, where it has both a local and international role. Locally, batik is a representation of their identity and cultural heritage, which is used in a range of different areas including religious and ceremonial rituals, to more domestic areas such as indoor furnishings and decorations. Internationally, Evi Steelyana W believes that, “The role of batik in international diplomacy…gives significant meaning for batik as a commodity which preserve Indonesian culture.” (Steelyana W 2012) Teruo Sekimoto also supports this notion, as “In the fields of textiles and fashion design, batik has an international reputation” (Sekimoto 2003)


However, in contemporary society, traditional Batik production is now facing the influence of rapid globalization of Indonesia. Especially in Java, “batik making is deeply rooted in the history of Java and Indonesia” (Sekimoto 2003) There is now a dichotomy between economic and cultural practices of this technique which has been increasingly modernized due to foreign European and Asian influences, including the imports of different cotton, chemical dyes replacing traditional dyes as well a decline of skilled batik artisans and shortage of buying power (Hitchcock & Nuryanti 2016) As such, the batik industry has suffered a huge blow, namely due to the screen printing industry, which does not involve the traditional wax-resistant dye. Although this didn’t have much influence at first, the print industry developed so rapidly that it was difficult to decipher the difference between a printed batik and a wax-dyed one. Traditional batik makers also took a toll from huge mass production firms. Thus, Sekimoto believes that “the golden age of batik lies in ancient times and every change the modern era has brought to batik has been negative: modernity always means the decay of tradition” yet ironically, it is due to this decay that we have developed such a traditionalist view to it. After all, it seems that modernity has allowed batik making to survive into a “modern industry representing Indonesian tradition” (Sekimoto 2003) without being completely lost in its battle against globalization.

Presence of traditional batik artisans in 1950 on the island of Java (Jin, M. 2017)
Presence of traditional batik artisans in 1980 on the island of Java (Jin, M. 2017)




  • Cohn, F. L. 2014, Traditional ‘canting’ technique, From Bali to Bala, viewed 7 December 2017 <>
  • Expat Web Site Association Jakarta. 2017, Batik, the Traditional Fabric of Indonesia, viewed 7 December 2017, <>.
  • Haake, A. 1989, ‘The role of symmetry in Javanese batik patterns‘, Computers & Mathematics with Applications, vol. 17, no. 4-6, pp. 815-826.
  • Hitchcock, M & Nuryanti, W. 2016, Building on Batik: The Globalization of a Craft Community, Routledge, UK.
  • Oxford Business Group. 2017, Modern role for Batik in Indonesia, viewed 7 December 2017, <>.
  • Sekimoto, T. 2003, ‘Batik as a Commodity and a Cultural Object’ in Yamashita, S & Seymour Eades, J (ed.), Globalization in Southeast Asia: Local, National, and Transnational Perspectives, Berghahn Books, United States.
  • Steelyana W, Evi. 2012, ‘Batik, a Beautiful Cultural Heritage that Preserve Culture and Support Economic Development in Indonesia’, Binus Business Review, vol. 3, no.1, pp. 116.
  • Strand of Silk. n.d, Screen printed batik, Strand of Silk, viewed 7 December 2017 <>.