New PSA campaign has grandparents talking to Gen Xers about vaping

The PLAYERS Championship - Preview Day 2

The PLAYERS Championship - Preview Day 2

Young people who vape are more likely to contract and spread Covid-19 than the who abstain from vaping. That makes them a more potent threat to seniors, who account for over 80 percent of coronavirus deaths.

"The idea stems from the insight that young people are among the primary spreaders of Covid-19 and seniors are the main victims," says Dov Zmood, executive creative director at McCann Global Health, which developed the campaign. "There's an empathy and relatability gap between these two audiences—but an obvious and deep connection, too. The relationship between grandparent and grandchild is a sacred one, so who better to deliver a meaningful anti-vaping message than grandparents?"

"We used a highly relatable medium during Covid: video messaging," to keep things real, Zmood says. "The environments shown are their real homes. The clothes they're wearing are their clothes. The footage was captured on smartphones, further adding to the authenticity."

Director Nathan Crooker urged actors Karen Teliha and Donald Wayne to simply be themselves, "and that's exactly what you see," Zmood says. "Karen and Wayne brought their own unique style and energy to the scripts. They connected with the spirit of the message and could mostly intuit the meaning of words outside their own lexicon. They are impassioned and believable, which makes for memorable, shareable content."

The campaign also invites seniors to post anti-vaping messages using #DitchTheVapeNow.