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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Call now or tomorrow. Be the first caller or number 100.

Most infomercials urge you to “Call now!” to receive a special offer or bonus gift, but a new effort from ad agency Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF) for client QUITPLAN Services turns the traditional direct response formula on its head. The completely free tobacco cessation help from QUITPLAN Services is available whether you call today or in a year, whether you are the first caller or the 2,000th.

In what may be the first infomercial for a product that is completely free, QUITPLAN Services delivers barrier-busting messages that are too long for traditional media. There are a lot of questions about how the service can truly be free (it’s funded by a portion of the settlement Minnesota received from the tobacco companies) and what the user experience will be like. To address these questions, the infomercial includes multiple layers of content: in-studio with a live audience (made up entirely of current and former tobacco users), advice from one of the nation’s top nicotine dependence experts, interviews with actual QUITPLAN phone coaches, conversations with current smokers out on their smoke breaks, and testimonials from both smokers and smokeless tobacco users who quit with help from QUITPLAN Services.

The medium was recommended by CCF based on research showing that smokers are more likely than the average consumer to both watch infomercials, and to watch overnight TV when many infomercials air.

Ian Simpson, CCF Senior Copywriter said, “In the beginning, I was freaking out about how we’d ever be able to fill 30 minutes. By the end, I was freaking out about how we’d ever be able to cull it down to 30 minutes. It’s a fact that 70% of smokers want to quit, and both smokers and former smokers alike were just so willing to open up and give their true feelings about that. It was pretty inspiring at times.”

“In addition to traversing barriers, we’re providing a peek behind the curtain of what a user receives from QUITPLAN Services. We were excited to leverage the empathetic, ‘no judgments’ tone that was established with the last QUITPLAN Services mass media campaign,” said Molly Hull, CCF Associate Director of Brand Development.

The infomercial is another tactic in a long history of agency CCF breaking the mold for QUITPLAN Services. From a 3D billboard with a cigarette butt replacing the post to the QuitCash Challenge, an annual stop-smoking contest, to helping develop a new suite of cessation tools that were promoted in a TV campaign using stop-motion animation, CCF has continued to bring new ideas to the table to engage tobacco users in quitting.

The QUITPLAN Services infomercial will be running in the Twin Cities and Duluth markets for four weeks starting February 9.