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Kool Counter AdCounter advertising is parody, designed to make fun of advertising messages. Public health officials use counter ads to provide accurate and truthful information about important health issues, often in a humorous fashion. For example, counter ads have been created to counter the deception and harmful messages portrayed in tobacco ads. Counter ads also can be used to express one’s opinion about a particular issue. View some examples: tobacco, alcohol, opinion.

Counter ads can be created for any medium—print, video, Web, or radio. Regardless of the topic or message, counter ads provide an element of truth that is not typically present in the original ad or message.

Create your own counter ad about tobacco! Choose from these ads or find one of your own. The ads below were taken from current magazines which have a high percentage of youth readership. Click on each tobacco advertisement to get a larger image. When you are finished, send us your counter ad and we will post it on our Web site for everyone to see!

Things to Remember

When looking at the original ad, think about what is being said or more importantly, what is not being said. For example, do tobacco ads ever mention that smoking causes premature wrinkling or turns teeth yellow? Of course not! Here is your chance to expose the truth behind tobacco ads. The tips below will you get started.

Who is your target audience?

  • For whom are you creating the counter ad?
  • Keep in mind the age of your audience

Did you change the picture to give an opposite message about tobacco use?

  • Does your picture show the reality of using tobacco?
  • Would your picture catch the attention of someone flipping through a magazine?

Did you change the text to give an opposite message about tobacco use?

  • Will the headline catch the attention of your intended audience? Is it short and catchy?
  • Have you made use of the company graphic in any way to create your own brand (For instance, Fool instead of Kool)?
  • Did you change the tobacco company slogan to tell what it is really like to use tobacco?

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