Smokers have to be one of the most unfortunate minority groups wandering around these days. At least drunk driving is illegal. Smoking may be federally sanctioned, but when you can’t do it here, and you can’t do it there, smoking becomes somewhat difficult to even casually enjoy. Should you be fortunate enough to find a place to light up, you can usually expect to experience the quiet charity displayed by the many passing non-smokers, glaring angrily at you like you’re disemboweling kittens. If you didn’t need a smoke before you would certainly strike the match by this point.  The blatant hostility directed at the average smoker is so over-the-top that you have to feel for these folks, shivering in alley doorways, prisoners of their government-approved habit. If they were actually living in the alley we’d rally to their defense and find them warm beds and hot food. As this is more a case of individuals involved in a practice currently deemed culturally insensitive we feel free to heap scorn upon them. It’s no wonder most smokers do their best to quit.

Nicoderm is but one of the brands out there providing stop-smoking aids. Currently, they are running a new television ad promoting themselves. In it, a flight attendant named Deb is explaining to camera how tough the rough patches are when you try to quit smoking. At this point we cut to Deb freaking out on a passenger for trying to stuff a slightly large bag into the overhead compartment. Then we see her absolutely lose it on another passenger who had the temerity to keep pushing the call button. Alternately, we watch as she bursts into tears while giving flight announcements or generally displays her totally unhinged frustration.

The ad is great. It more than highlights the issue of withdrawal from smoking. The humor works because I tend to think that smoker or not, most flight attendants hide a just-beneath-the-surface disdain for their passengers and would love to cut loose like Deb once in a while. I had one experience with a stewardess who admonished me quite snidely, while still remaining weirdly calm, for my apparently inept attempt to stack my dinner trays, saying, “No, no, no…..flatsy, flatsy, flatsy.”  I would not be surprised to find out that this Nicoderm ad is being played over and over by gaggles of male and female flight attendants laughing hysterically and getting absolutely plastered on mini bottles of Stolichnaya and Kahlua.

Commercials for those trying to quit smoking are usually so lame that they’re either forgettable or play so gross that you don’t even want to watch them. Remember that one where the guy sits in the bar with the hot woman in the red dress as she coos that he can’t resist her? He confidently rebuffs her charms, making clear that he can resist the devil woman just as she devolves into the ugly, bumpy, smelly looking little monster she really is. Obviously, she is demon tobacco, one-time seducer now unmasked for all to see.

This commercial is so horrible. First the lady in the red dress was beautiful. When she hits the screen all I want to do is look at her. As my attraction grows she turns all ugly and slimy, immediately turning me off and making me feel all gross like I ate a bug or something. All I want is for the pretty lady to come back. Does a smoker really like being told that they are basically stupid and were more or less suckered into smoking in the first place? I doubt it.

I’d say Nicoderm hit the sweet spot with Deb the flight attendant. She appears nice and is so pleasant looking that even when she gets positively hostile I can still like her enough to see myself in the situation. Nicoderm makes it easy to see their brand as the lighthouse offering safe habour from the painful symptoms of withdrawal.

Hopefully Nicoderm will have a lot of success breaking the habits of smokers the world over. Once we eliminate the ridiculous use of tobacco we can focus on more important things like legalizing marijuana and prostitution. Imagine the commercials we’ll get to see when our collective wisdom eventually decides to put an end to those “bad habits.”

Leave a Reply