Post A: Designers are human

Stakeholder map
This stakeholder map shows the influential interconnections between designer and industry by E. Tortorella.

In Indonesia there is a mistrust of science and government (Crosby et al. 2019). The confusion around cigarette use and whether or not it is harmful is information that Indonesians don’t fully recognise. The understanding that tobacco is a harmful substance has been blurred by designers in the industry that enables ‘tobacco companies spend over US $1 million per hour on marketing’ (Vital Strategies 2019). The tobacco industry sponsors international music events, sports events and even events aimed at children (Hodge & Rayda 2019), which uses visual material and systems that are designed to elicit an emotional response. The branding around events such as Gudang Garam Java Rockin’Land 2010 inextricably links tobacco with fun experiences. 

The creative industry in Yogyakarta and surrounds is interwoven politically in designing advertising campaigns that support industry and further raising the GDP of Indonesia (Nichter et al. 2008). The industry needs creative culture makers to grow the tobacco industry’s profits and be appealing to its young consumer audience. The advertisements that I saw when I visited Yogyakarta propels the stereotype of masculinity forward in the form of physical endurance sports. The link between the advertisement’s masculine image and catch phrase ‘Pro Never Quit’ (Hodge & Rayda 2019) and the promotion of cigarettes highlights an irony that is is reflected in the culture. 

Pro Never Quit 2016

Brand designs, no matter the medium, take on an influential dominance that affects cultural norms. Creative culture makers and local designers in Yogyakarta and other parts of Java design for international music events that are sponsored by the tobacco industry such as the Gudang Garam Java Rockin’Land whose main sponsor was Gudang Garam International, one of the biggest tobacco brands in Indonesia (SEATCA 2010). It aimed its advertising at young people, and even in the sponsor notes it reads the younger the better. The industry is seen a benefactor providing music and international experiences for young people, however the sinister reality is that the tobacco industry uses a marketing strategy (Eissenberg 2004) known as the Pavlovian model on them to associate pleasure and excitement with tobacco usage. 

Senior art director Tegar Yudhanataru designed the branding for the Pro Never Quit advertisements in the production house of Squarebox Cinetech. The content heavily dominates Yogyakarta’s billboards, roadside stalls and television (Hodge & Rayda 2019). Pro Never Quit is a slogan that belongs to Gudang Garam’s company brand called Surya Pro. Their vision was to make their brand be viewed as a man’s perfect cigarette (jasminesubrata 2019) and now their campaign is still getting recognition because of its controversial ideologies that are misinformative and falsely lead the consumer to looking at the unattainable luxurious lifestyles advertised by tobacco companies (McCall 2014).



Crosby, A., Dunn, J.L., Aditjondro, E. & Rachfiansyah 2019, ‘Tobacco Control Is a Wicked Problem: Situating Design Responses in Yogyakarta and Banjarmasin’, She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 261-84.

Eissenberg, T. 2004, ‘Measuring the emergence of tobacco dependence: the contribution of negative reinforcement models’, Addiction, vol. 99, no. s1, pp. 5-29.

Freeman B. & Swandewi Astuti P.A. 2018, Tobacco company in Indonesia skirts regulation, uses music concerts and social media for marketing, Australia, viewed 24 December 2019, <>.

Hodge, A. & Rayda, N. 2019, ‘Dying better than losing a friend’ in Indonesian smoker’s paradiseAustralia, viewed 24 December 2019 <>.

Hurt, R.D., Ebbert, J.O., Achadi, A. & Croghan, I.T. 2012, ‘Roadmap to a tobacco epidemic: transnational tobacco companies invade Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 306-12.

McCall, C. 2014, ‘Tobacco advertising still rife in southeast Asia’, The Lancet, vol. 384, no. 9951, pp. 1335-6.

Subrata, J. 2016, Gudang Garam — Surya Pro, Indonesia, viewed 24 December 2019,<>.

South East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance 2010, International artists performing at Indonesian tobacco-sponsored rock festival despite protests, viewed 24 December 2019, <>.

Vital Strategies 2019, Our work, Indonesia, viewed 24 December 2019, <;.




Post C: Interview about Tobacco Usage in Yogyakarta and Indonesian Culture with Adibah

Adibah works as a student tutor at the Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) for the Igov team. UMY is a smoke free campus that has a zero tobacco tolerance for staff and students. I began the interview by asking Adibah: “Do you smoke tobacco/cigarettes with your friends and if you do, why do you smoke?”


“I don’t smoke, but my father and my brother does. So I am indirectly influenced by the smoke at home. Everyday I breathe in their smoke. 

I felt as though Adibah was concerned by her second hand consumption of smoke in the home since she knows about the negative long term effects of tobacco usage. 


“My brother only started smoking last year”


“Oh, why?”


“In Indonesia we have service, like community service, helping with the campus. He was sent to a rural area in Brebes. Brebes is one of the regions in Central Java, 8 hours away from here. The society in Central Java loves smoking so he needed to be used to smoke when they have the general meeting in the village. When he came back home he started to smoke, but not in the house only on campus probably, so my mum won’t know that he smokes. He is not educated about the harms of smoking.” 


“So why don’t you smoke?”


“In Indonesian habit, the woman sees smoking as not normal for herself. Whenever I am wearing my hijab (and I am seen smoking) it will seem like I am a bad person and non law abiding.” 

I smiled at this, thinking to myself that Adibah is such a sweet person the connotation of her being bad if she smoked was amusing to me. I explained: “I am smiling because it’s funny to me that culture makes people believe certain things, you know what I mean?”

Adibah giggled,

“In Indonesia there are a lot of myths that are believed by Indonesians that are wrong but people still believe it. Like for a child, it says that if children are not back home by 5pm they will be taken by the ghost to another world. Lots of children still believe this myth.”

The cultural stigmas around tobacco consumption in Indonesia has allowed for Adibah to have a healthier lifestyle in comparison to the males around her. Attending UMY has also let her work and study in a place that is smoke free, which protects her from second hand consumption in the workplace however not at home around the smoke of her brother and father. 

Photo of Adibah taken outside of Move On café in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

POST D: Kretek cigarettes

Indonesia’s smoking rates are increasing while the rest of the world is decreasing their tobacco habits (Rakhmat & Tarahita 2018). This fact is compelling as Indonesia is a nation made up of 18000 different islands that have many different cultures and languages. In these numerous cultures the tobacco industry is an integral thread tightly woven into the fabric of Indonesian history. 

Kretek cigarettes are made of tobacco, cloves and a mixture of spices called “sauce”, which creates a distinct flavour apart from regular tobacco (Tarmidi 1996). Smoking kretek is a strong habit in Indonesian culture. Next to the government, the kretek industry is the second largest employer in Indonesia (Arnez 2009). Kretek was created by the Javanese in the late 19th century (Tarmidi 1996). 

The earliest known beginning of the production of kretek was circa 1880 in northern Central Java. Kretek was mainly smoked by the regional and financially disadvantaged farmers in Central and East Java and by taxi drivers in the city who were also poverty stricken (Tarmidi 1996). Kretek cigarettes became popular only after they industrialised them by adding filters and mechanising the process. Packaging became more attractive in the 1970s and were used by high income earners when they were released (Tarmidi 1996). 

Map of kretek tobacco plantation regions

The Karanganyar and Wanurejo villages are at the base of the Menoreh Hills, 5 kilometers from the Borobudur temple and depend heavily upon farming and tobacco plantations for the villagers livelihoods (Kanki et al. 2015). While Indonesia produces 300,000 tonnes of tobacco per year and an estimated 524 billion cigarettes predicted to be produced by 2020 (Indonesia-investments 2015), still the nation heavily relies on tobacco imports from China as it struggles to meet a growing demand.

In South Sulawesi betel chewing was a common practice in 1900 but by the 1950s it was replaced by cigarettes. Betel chewing was replaced due to the influence exerted by multinational companies over Indonesian and Melanesian cultures (Arnez 2009). However in the 21st century kretek has increasingly been replaced with betel chewing once again (Arnez 2009). 


Borobudur Temple was part of the Heritage listed sites to launch a campaign with received technological assistance from Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) .



Arnez, M. 2009, ‘Tobacco and kretek: Indonesian drugs in historical change’, ASEAS-Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 49-69.

Happystock, Borobudur Temple, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia, Adobe stock, viewed 27 November 2019, <>.

Indonesia-investments 2015, Indonesia’s Tobacco Industry Remains Dependent on Imports, newsite,  viewed 27 November 2019, <>.

Kanki, K., Adishakti, L.T. & Fatimah, T. 2015, Borobudur as Cultural Landscape: Local Communities’ Initiatives for the Evolutive Conservation of Pusaka Saujana Borobudur, Kyoto University Press

Tarmidi, L.T. 1996, ‘Changing structure and competition in the kretek cigarette industry’, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 85-107.

Zulfikar Rakhmat, M. & Tarahita, D. 2018, As the rest of the world quits, indonesia’s smokers increase, newsite, AsiaSentinel, viewed 27 November 2019, <>.




POST B: Slip! Slop! Slap!

Slip! Slop! Slap! was an Australian public health campaign that had a sun safety message which generated a positive influence on attitude and outcome (Melanoma Research Victoria 2014). Perhaps the reason why this campaign has been so memorable, even twenty years after the campaign aired (Paul 2003) was because it evoked a positive feeling in a young audience and their guardians, which was created by the use of a jingle paired with an animated scenario starring a talking seagull. The campaign was televised in Australian homes which was an effective way of advertising to a large audience in the late 20th century (O’Barr 2010). Slip! Slop! Slap! was one of the most influential public health campaigns in Australia and has resonated throughout cancer prevention campaigns since its inception in 1980 (Montague et al. 2001).


(Volunteer lifesavers stand together and form the words ‘slip slop slap’ on the backs of their shirts during an anti-skin cancer campaign at Bondi Beach in Sydney 2006)

Cancer Council Victoria, part of the federal council, is a government agency that funded this campaign. The initiative was interdisciplinary as it allowed a broadcaster, animator and sound designer to collaborate. Phillip Adams (Broadcaster), Peter Best (Composer) and Alexander Stitt (Animator) was the team behind the campaign below:

Slip Slop Slap Ad (1988)

By 1988, almost a decade after Slip! Slop! Slap!’s release, Cancer Council Victoria rebranded themselves and transformed the campaign into SunSmart, a branch of the Cancer Council which was created to publicise cancer prevention to institutions. SunSmart developed capacity in community through policy development advocacy, research and evaluation as well as educational material, sporting event sponsorship (Montague et al. 2001) and more recently in the 2010s era, developing a UV forecast app for smartphones to continue the SunSmart message and brand relevance (Jenkins 2017).

The effectiveness and success of this campaign was viewed through the lowering of skin cancers by 5% each year from 1990-2010 (Melanoma Research Victoria 2014). This success was achieved through the contextual understanding of Australian culture. Slang language adds to the cultural meaning of the message because it brings a sense of familiarity and ease to it.

Designers can evoke feelings. This is a powerful tool that can either create positive or negative change. The current method of anti tobacco campaigns are to generate fear in the smoker through disgusting graphic imagery to promote a change in lifestyle (Halkjelsvik 2015). Comparatively this tactic may appear dissimilar to those used in Slip! Slop! Slap! however they both manipulate their audiences through emotion.

Policy or behaviour change that is achieved by imprinting new values in childhood about the negative effects of an issue through education is an effective solution for it to diminish. Similarly, educating at an early age about health problems caused by tobacco could be an effective solution to combat the issue, however in a context like Central Java, the culture of smoking is aggressively advertised to satisfy political and economical interests (Nichter et al. 2009).


Anti-cancer council Victoria 1980, Slip! Slop! Slap! – The Original Sid the Seagull Video, YouTube, viewed 20 November 2019, <;.

Anti-cancer council Victoria 1988, Slip Slop Slap Ad (1988), YouTube, viewed 20 November 2019, <;.

Burgess, W. 2006, Volunteer lifesavers stand together and form the words ‘slip slop slap’ on the backs of their shirts during an anti-skin cancer campaign at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Reuters, viewed 20 November 2019, <;.

Halkjelsvik, T. & Rise, J. 2015, ‘Disgust in fear appeal anti-smoking advertisements: The effects on attitudes and abstinence motivation’, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 362-9.

Jenkins, E. 2017, “Bringing the “SunSmart” message to smart phones”, Lancet Oncology, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 293.

Marks, R. 2002, ‘The changing incidence and mortality of melanoma in Australia’, Cancers of the Skin, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 113-121.

Montague, M., Borland, R. & Sinclair, C. 2001, ‘Slip! Slop! Slap! and SunSmart, 1980-2000: Skin cancer control and 20 years of population-based campaigning’, Health Education & Behavior, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 290-305.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. & Nichter, M. 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 98-107.

O’Barr, W.M. 2010, ‘The Rise and Fall of the TV Commercial’, Advertising & Society Review, vol. 11, no. 2.

Paul, A. 2003, ‘The Slip Slop Slap years: have they had a lasting impact on today’s adolescents?’, Health promotion journal of Australia, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 219-21.