Post A: Malicious design @ ‘the youth’

For this post I want to explore the way design assists effective malicious targeting of children and youth through deceptive visual propaganda, cultural manipulation, malicious sponsorship of art and cultural events and infrastructure.

Tobbaco control activist and multi award recipient Lisda Sundari of indonesia states, “We have a duty to tell children they are being targeted and encourage them to fight back. Through the voices of the youth, we can change the world.” (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019) The way to successfully do this is through well designed systems and campaigns.

Although design may be a part of the solution, I want to explore how it’s being used in a negative sense amongst stake holders within Yogyakarta Indonesia. Firstly cultural manipulation, this is being conceived in a number of ways, firstly through tobacco companies direct and boastful sponsorship of music/ cultural events. This is highly malicious in the sense that they certainly know a younger more impressionable audience will be reached. Design is thus further at work here as it is employed into the visual propaganda spread throughout these festivals. For example, Java Jazz music festival in Jakarta was sponsored by Djarum Super Mild with the headliners performing under a large cigarette advertisement. (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)  In response to this design has been implemented through the creation of the Tune Out Tobacco campaign in an effort to fight tobacco until Indonesia strengthens its laws. (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)

Malicious design in favour of stake holders can be seen targeting kids directly through infrastructure. Access and affordability has been designed in a number of ways, firstly shops and retailers, this infrastructure almost always sells cigarettes and includes snacks, sweets and soda, thus invitation and incentive is created for children. This problem persists as these vendors are also mobile, the design choice of portability further allows for maximisation of accessibility to children as vendors can target specific places, e.g schools. On the opposite end, stationary unmanned vending machines and kiosks create a huge problem as children have unsupervised and unlimited access to products. Vendors are furthermore provided with monetary insensitive to display their tobacco products. (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)

Lastly malicious and creative advertising to target youth. The industry specifically designs flavoured tobacco products to appeal to a younger audience, according to the tiny targets campaign 71% of flavoured tobacco was sold or advertised around schools. Malicious designed advertising like this exists heavily within Indonesia, one of the recent examples being PT Djarum’s slogan “DON’T QUIT.” And another billboard depicting a young man reaching out to catch up with friends on a bus, with the line: ‘Dying is better than leaving a friend. Sampoerna is a cool friend.’ (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2019). The Toll of Tobacco in Indonesia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2019). Indonesia Tobacco Giant’s Shameful Billboard Says “DON’T QUIT”.


Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019].

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2019). Lisda Sundari of Indonesia Honored for Leadership in Fight Against Tobacco Use. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019]. (2019). Antismoking Coalition Gives Big Tobacco a Fight in Indonesia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019]. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019].

Post C: Indonesian punks and I.

Within this blog post I would like to begin an analytical conversation around the punk scene within Indonesia and overlay some of my own brief experiences within the scene against those cited in reputable media and text.

Firstly what’s the significance of the punk movement in Indonesia? ABC’s; RN vividly describes the way Punk can, “provide… community and a way to survive.” (Radio National, 2019)  for young Indonesians. Specifically, activist art collectives like Taring Babi have provided and ran thousands of free workshops in an effort to equip young Indonesians with musical and survival skills to co-exist with an oppressive government. The fact that some youths indulge into poverty and make the streets their home merely to defy cultural and religious norms speaks volumes. (Radio National, 2019)

One of the punks I spoke too at a local three-day punk rock festival and market (Instagram: @rv.lintang) hinted at the regulations on their community within Yogyakarta. In response to me asking why they weren’t moshing (mosh: to dance in a wild, almost violent way.) He stated if things got too out of hand the government would shut down their event. He went on to highlight that these events were only possible because they were viewed on a community-based agenda, thus supporting the people and local business. This made sense as I explored the multiple vintage fashion booths and food stalls that surrounded the back of a main stage in a horseshoe layout. They informed me most events and bands thrived on word of mouth and a small social media presence.

The punk scene has not always been so straight forward. For example Indonesian punks known as the Aceh made global headlines in 2011 as they were illegally detained and rehabilitied in a “moral re-education military camp.” (Radio National, 2019), I’ve attached some further links bellow.


The Guardian

Thus the scene I was being exposed too seemed much more ‘relaxed’, in light of this claim I must give tribute to the determination of the Indonesians I met at the three day event I attended. @rv.lintang alluded to the notion that the skate and punk community intertwined at this specific cite, thus the crowd didn’t as strongly represent a punk aesthetic. The clothing stalls boasted a mix of classic street wear, skate culture and punk band merchandise.

Wallach, Jeremy. “Living the Punk Lifestyle in Jakarta.” Ethnomusicology, vol. 52, no. 1, 2008, pp. 116.

Regardless of the relaxed nature I experienced, hints of a punk rebellion persisted, I was offered many homemade Indonesian alcholic beverages, neatly stowed away in plain label ice tea plastic bottles. Hints of the classic mosh culture perpetuated, youth took to the front__ of the stage flung themselves around violently on certain songs. Friends of the performers constantly riled each other up, lifting and throwing their friends, screaming into the microphone, pushing and shoving each other in a violent but lovingly protective manner. The punk scene with it’s lack of aggressive mohawks and jackets layered with sharp silver was well and truly alive at a second glance.


Wallach, Jeremy. “Living the Punk Lifestyle in Jakarta.” Ethnomusicology, vol. 52, no. 1, 2008, pp. 98–116. JSTOR,

 (, D. (2019). Indonesia’s punk scene rocks on | DW | 02.04.2013.


DW.COM. Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019].

BBC News. (2019). Punks forcibly shaved for ‘re-education’. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019].

Radio National. (2019). Indonesia’s radical underground punk scene. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019]. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019].

the Guardian. (2019). Police arrest punks in Indonesia – in pictures. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019]. (2019). YouTube.


Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019].

Post D: The deep depths of tobacco indoctrination within Indonesian culture

After some reflection and research on Indonesia’s current and past state as an advertising utopia (Nichter et al., 2008) riddled with deep rooted political and corporate Tabaco indoctrination, I wanted to understand how and why this culture has and is prevailing.

Indonesian culture and the tobacco industry seem to be totally engrained in one another; this is blatantly obvious through advertising practice. The practice of a billboard or sign advertising a tobacco product is now an organic part of the Indonesian landscape. (REYNOLDS, 1999) More specifically the way these advertisements directly coincide with Indonesian religion and culture is shocking, for example this billboard (shown bellow), depicting a cigarette advertisement on a mosque. Thus there is a rich and prevalent culture link between religious symbolism and tobacco use, advertisement purposely attempts to subvert areas of traditional Indonesian culture and thus peoples desires in favour of tobacco promotion and use. (REYNOLDS, 1999)

‘The sanctity of religion—cigarette bunting on a mosque. “Selamat menunaikan ibadah puasa” means “We wish you well” or “Best wishes in carrying out the act of worship”. Photograph by Maraid O’Gorman.’ (REYNOLDS, 1999)

These elements of indoctrination go even deeper as we look at the towering powerhouses within the Indonesian tobacco landscape. Kretek (clove cigarettes) ‘carry a lower excise tax than white (Western style) cigarettes’, furthermore they are promoted as a ‘traditional Indonesian product’, similar to that of local and national Indonesian traditional medicines. This becomes highly problematic as statistics state, ‘90% of all smokers smoke indigenous cigarettes, kretek, and 10% smoke “white” cigarettes.’ Kretek cigarettes, made of a local blend known as ‘bumbu’ are also highly toxic in comparison to western tobacco products, they contain hundreds of additives, ‘more nicotine (1.2 mg–4.5 vs 1.1 mg), more tar (46.8 mg vs 16.3 mg) and more carbon monoxide (28.3 mg vs 15.5 mg) than white cigarettes.’ This type of cigarette also lies as one of the cheapest in the Indonesian tobacco market, making it not only locally and culturally engrained, but also highly accessible.

These statistics mainly come from the study site of Yogyakarta in central Java, a major cultural and educational centre, the area home to 3.5million is dominated by multiple brands of kretek through aggressive and manipulative advertising practices. (Nichter et al., 2008)

Finally, Keltek (as shown to be a harsh example of cultural manipulation for political and industry capital gain) further indoctrinates itself into not only traditional but contemporary culture through infrastructure and social campaigns. Decentralisation of laws in Yogyakarta have allowed for numerous local factors to be built which in turn feed government revenue which allows for leniency and further investment into ‘social contributions’, e.g gardens, public infrastructure like bus shelters, city lights etc. Tobacco companies will even push advertisements around times of traditional celebrations within Yogyakarta, targeting urban neighbourhoods through discounts, prizes and flashy installations. (Nichter et al., 2008)

There’s is a serious problem in existence here, company claws are deep seeded into the social and cultural flesh of wider urban Indonesia, as demonstrated through Yogyakarta. Thus, we must ask the question, how do we attack not only prevailing issues around legislation, but a deep seeded tobacco culture that continues to invest itself through generations.  

Flett, A., Mouawad, J. 2019, Untilted, Digital photography & print.


ABC News. (2019). ‘Tobacco industry’s Disneyland’: Tackling Indonesia’s smoking addiction much harder than it seems. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2019). The Toll of Tobacco in Indonesia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. and Nichter, M. (2008). Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia. Tobacco Control, 18(2), pp.98-107.

REYNOLDS, C. (1999). Tobacco advertising in Indonesia: “the defining characteristics for success.” Tobacco Control, 8(1), pp.85-88.

Statista. (2019). Indonesia: preferred places to buy cigarettes 2019 | Statista. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

The Conversation. (2019). Protecting young Indonesian hearts from tobacco. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Indonesia – Tobacco Atlas. Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Post B: Giving the middle finger to HIV.

In the context of a global aids epidemic, with NGO’s struggling to resonate with youth culture; the solution required an intouch, radical and experimental approach. A top down approach from MTV was wildly successful in sparking conversation while involving this criteria in a simpe well devised add campaign, utilizing a 21st century social media frenzy through their hashtag ‘FCKHIV’. (WPPedCream 2017, 2019) Credited to the agency, Ogilvy Johannesburg in coordination with brand name Viacom and MTV the campaign went on to win numerous awards and spark roughly 6.8milion impressions within the first 5 hours, trending as the top hashtag on world aids day on twitter (One Nation Studios, 2019).

The success of this campaign from a design and marketing perspective is due to a couple of simplistic but highly effective variables. Firstly connection, this campaign (in reflection of the video <> quickly identifies itself as an expressive, radical and in touch piece of production. Using traditional film footage in the beginning and subverting it’s serious undertones with bold bright and almost rude text, notably the ‘blah, blah, blah blah’, completely changes the tone and feeling, thus setting a new precinct with correct emotional undertones for the movement to be built on (, 2019)., 2019

In it’s first phase (upon release in 2016) timing was key. The campaign was executed during the month of December, a consistent date set for youth in Africa to party hard, and perfectly in alightment with World Aids Day (, 2019).

In the productions final form the campaign took another radical approach in 2017. Taking the contextually relevant imagery of sperm and juxtaposing its contents with it’s message through a vibrant colourful layout of sperm, blocky but contemporary abstract shapes and big bold but playful typography illustrating the core message, ‘#FCK HIV’ (, 2019).

Apart of the solution involved interdisplenary coordination. This further addresses issues around cultural disconnection and the previous problem with connecting to youth. To address this Ogilvy “ took MTV’s animation art direction and fused it with an underground South African music genre called, Gqom.” Thus we have a highly successful and multi displenary campaign, utilising the hyper digital platform of social media and some clever design to potentially treat thousands of individuals while simultaneously reverting and removing stigma around the global monster known as HIV.

In response to the brief itself, I believe this campaign sets a perfect precedence of thinking for our Indonesia task. Specifically the notions of empathy, understanding and practicality in terms of conection and an in touch attitude and timeless design in consideration of cultural history and current status quoe (, 2019).


Anon, (2019). [online] Available at:;) [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Behance. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Welcome | Ogilvy South Africa. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

One Nation Studios. (2019). One Nation Studios – Channel O Absolute V3. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019]. (2019). VIACOM | Ogilvy | MTV #FCKHIV | WE LOVE AD. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

WPPedCream 2017. (2019). MTV #FCKHIV. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].