The Best Work You May Never See: Grandma Tells Teens To Ditch The Vape In Pandemic PSA Created By McCann Global Health


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020


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Teenagers who vape face a much higher risk of contracting an spreading COVID-19 than their peers who do not vape— but teenagers are not the most vulnerable population in this pandemic. Seniors are. In fact over 80% of all COVID-related deaths are suffered by seniors, and they have something to say about it.

The new “Ditch the Vape Now” campaign from McCann Global Health for the Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation features endearing seniors delivering anti-vaping video messages to their grandchildren. But the films don’t just apply to a few vaping grandkids, they speak to an entire generation of vapers, encouraging them to use this rare moment in history to make healthier decisions.

With the pandemic only widening the empathy gap between teens and seniors, McCann Global Health has found a way to humanize the consequences vaping by making senior citizens relatable to a younger generation. In the videos, grandparents fluently use Gen Z jargon making their impassioned pleas hilarious too.

This ScreenWork entry is a message from grandma.

“We know that finger wagging isn’t effective when trying to persuade health behavior change, especially among teens.” observed Briana Ferrigno, president of McCann Global Health. “But we believe our most vulnerable populations to COVID-19—our senior citizens—can also become our most persuasive advocates.”

With teens accounting for much of the spread of COVID-19, there’s a need to adhere to the wisdom of older people. “When grandparents share their time and life stories with adolescents, they also share their heart and spirit.” Said Suzanne Graves, President, Lutz Foundation, “That’s a powerful and rewarding experience for both generations.”

The initiative also invites other senior citizens to post their own anti-vaping video messages using #ditchthevapenow


Client Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation Agency McCann Global Health Dov Zmood, executive creative director; Juan Ferrer, group art supervisor; Brigid Duffy, group copy supervisor; James Etheridge, strategy director; Elyse Winer, strategy jr. associate; Jason Souter, SVP, director of integrated production.

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