Post A : Designers and Cigarette Advertising

Julier (2013) stated in one of his books that design has become a global phenomenon. It also contributes to the evolution of individual humans (Fuad-Luke, 2013). Design is much needed in order to create a sustainable environment. A movement called design activism is about using our talent as a designer to create an impact for a better world (Dzera 2016).

In Jogjakarta, advertisements about tobacco can be seen everywhere. Those advertisements produced by tobacco companies do not only promote the cigarette product itself but also often promotes local events that are supported by those companies. This shows how strong tobacco businesses are in Jogjakarta. Based on a research done by Komisi Nasional Perlindungan Anak (KPAI) in 2007, it is proven that all cigarette industry marketing activities are a systematical chain that has the intention to recruit kids and teenagers to be a smoker (Alfi 2012). Most of the cigarettes advertising that exist with their symbolic language invite people to dream, fly, and imagine the happiness that ended up consuming offered product, in this case, a cigarette (Tanudjaja 2004). 

Cigarette advertising next to a junior high school sign in Palembang (Alfi, 2012).

There is already rules and restrictions for cigarette advertising, whether it is from the local government or international (Tanudjaja 2004). However, it is proven that those rules are not effective to restrain people’s imagination of smoking, but instead triggers brilliant ideas and work (Alfi 2012). Often, cigarette advertisings are the ones who won awards in art competitions and festivals. Even though the government has already released restrictions in producing cigarette advertising, there is still some weakness and failing in those rules which are being abused by cigarette companies. They believe that they have already given a huge impact and influence for the government in terms of funding and taxes, as well as providing employment. These circumstances are being used by cigarette companies to strengthen their bargaining position. (Tanudjaja 2004). 

For now, it does seem impossible to forbid all tobacco advertising from being published, whether it is through banners, posters, newspapers, or televisions since tobacco companies will not stop looking for the Grey Area in government’s regulations. Governments can only restrict the number of advertisements being published. As designers, through design activism, we can all find solutions to this problem. Art competition organizers can also start holding an event for design competitions that accept poster of public health awareness instead of smoking advertisements. Holding an event supported by charitable organizations instead of tobacco companies may be a solution too.

Reference Lists :

Alfi, C. F, 2012, Mengetuk Pintu Hati Desainer Iklan Rokok, viewed 19 December 2019, <https://cokyfauzialfi.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/mengetuk-pintu-hati-desainer-iklan-rokok/>.

Dzera, L. 2016, What is Design Activism?, LinkedIn, viewed 19 December 2019, <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-design-activism-lisa-dzera>.

Fuad-Luke, A., 2013, Design activism: beautiful strangeness for a sustainable world, Routledge.

Julier, G. 2013, The culture of design, 3rd edition, SAGE Publications Ltd, California.

Tanudjaja, B. B. 2004, ‘KREATIFITAS PEMBUATAN IKLAN PRODUK ROKOK DI INDONESIA’, Abstrak, vol. 4, pp. 85-100, viewed 19 December 2019, <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/43330466_KREATIFITAS_PEMBUATAN_IKLAN_PRODUK_ROKOK_DI_INDONESIA&gt;.

Post C : "I smoke because I want to"

Global Studio in Yogyakarta that was held on 1-14 December 2019 was a very fun and educating experience. The studio’s main focus was to future Yogyakarta in 2040. I got to future Malioboro Street for my project, and I focused on the wicked tobacco problem that I encountered during my stay in Central Java. Based on secondary research that I have done before coming to Yogyakarta, I found out that based on research done in 2005, it shows that the percentage of young active smokers in Indonesia is 38% among boys and 5.3% among girls (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006). This may happen as tobacco industry in Indonesia is very strong, as it employs more than 11 million workers and is the second-largest employer after the government (Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009). As an Indonesian myself, I am not surprised by the research that I found. Since I was little, I grew up watching countless of people smoking on the streets, from all different classes. In this chance to visit Yogyakarta specifically to tackle this problem, I interviewed a university student that I met at Spedagi factory, named Novaldy who is originally from Temanggung, to understand further about this specific issue. 

Novaldy himself smokes, and has no intention to stop. When I asked him on what might be a reason for him to quit, he answered if his girlfriend tells him to. He also said that nothing really triggered him to smoke, he just feels like he wants to. After I give it some thought, I think that some university students smoke just for fun and out of boredom. I can also say that students in that age, also prioritize and consider that having a partner is important, therefore they listen to their partner in order to keep the relationship going. From this interview, I know for sure that at least tobacco problem in Central Java is not an impossible task to be tackled down in the future. While persuading older people not to smoke seems difficult, taking another step to lecture younger generations about the risk of smoking is more achievable. This also rings a bell on an article that I read the other day, that stated that there are two types of smokers, one is the experimental smoker, and the other one is a regular smoker (Marwati, 2011). This statement also increased my belief that Indonesia in the future will not be the top five tobacco consuming countries in the world (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006).

Image of Novaldy from his Instagram

Reference Lists :

Marwati, 2011, 16 Percent of Junior and Senior High School Students in Yogyakarta City are Smokers, viewed 22 November 2019, <https://ugm.ac.id/en/news/6536-16-percent-of-junior-and-senior-high-school-students-in-yogyakarta-city-are-smokers&gt;.

mnovaldy 2019, Tuk Mulyo – ‘Trip anti galau, Nostalgia masa SD, espacism’, 9 November, viewed 16 December 2019, <https://www.instagram.com/p/B4nwQ3agNoQ/&gt;.

Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. Öhman, 2006, ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking, Health Education Research, vol. 22, no. 6, pp 794–804, viewed 22 November 2019, <https://academic.oup.com/her/article/22/6/794/640787&gt;.

Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 02, pp 98-107, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98&gt;.

Post D : Young smokers in Yogyakarta

Daerah Ibukota Yogyakarta is Java island’s soul, where the Javanese language is the purest (Lonely Planet, 2019). Yogya or often written as Jogja is one of the most active cultural centers in Indonesia. Behind the beauty of its nature and the exotic culinary, Yogyakarta is a city where young active smokers are often found (Octavia, 2017). Research in 2005 suggests that the percentage of young active smokers in Indonesia is 38% among boys and 5.3% among girls (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006). Fast forward to 2013, another research done shows that the percentage of daily smokers has grown, and in Yogyakarta itself has reached 21.2% (Octavia, 2017). Based on research, smokers in Yogyakarta consist of two categories, one is the experimental smoker, and the other one is a regular smoker (Marwati, 2011).

The beauty of companionship: School children spend time in a convenience store in Pejaten, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta. Some of the teens enjoy smoking while chatting.
(thejakartapost.com/Elly Burhaini Faizal)

What are the factors that may lead to a growing number of young smokers?

Indonesia itself is the top fifth tobacco consuming countries in the world (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006), and is the second-largest cigarette market in Asia (Indonesia Investments, 2016). This may happen as tobacco companies in Indonesia have a huge political and financial impact on the country, and are the government’s top five largest sources of revenue (Reynolds, 1999). The tobacco industry itself is very strong, as it employs more than 11 million workers and is the second-largest employer after the government (Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009). 

Another article suggests that a study revealed that youths perceived cigarette ads as encouraging them to smoke (Prabandari & Dewi 2016). Cigarette advertising can be found anywhere in Indonesia, starting from television, big billboard over the highway, magazines, and even newspapers. Besides advertisements, movies that show scenes that expose the act of smoking may be one of the encouraging factors for youngsters to smoke (Prabandari & Dewi 2016), just like how children often mimic their parents’ behavior. 

A smoking advertisement on a billboard shared by Sebastian Strangio on Twitter.
(https://twitter.com/sstrangio/status/886872286195613698)

Tarwoto (2010) suggests that some factors that may lead to the habit of smoking are social status, the pressure of colleagues, the influence of parents who smoke, and the belief that smoking will not affect health. Besides all that, Indonesia has a lack of tobacco control, as it is stated that this country is behind in terms of the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control signature and ratification (Ng, Weinehall & Ohman, 2006). 

Is there any effort done to tackle this problem?

Many have been done in order to reduce young smokers in Indonesia. One very good example that was done in Yogyakarta by one researcher, was launching a smoke-free home activity back in 2011 in 9 neighborhoods in Yogyakarta (Marwati, 2011). Smoke-free signs were put on every house, but this doesn’t mean that it forbids people to smoke, but rather to appeal to smokers to provide fresh air for other people (Marwati, 2011).

Map of Central Java, where Yogyakarta, the city where I did my research, is highlighted.

Reference Lists:

Faizal, E. B, 2016, Social media plays role in youth smoking, says expert, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/03/21/social-media-plays-role-youth-smoking-says-expert.html>.

Indonesia Investments, 2016, Tobacco & Cigarette Industry Indonesia, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://www.indonesia-investments.com/business/industries-sectors/tobacco/item6873>.

Lonely Planet, 2019, Welcome to Yogyakarta, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/java/yogyakarta>.

Marwati, 2011, 16 Percent of Junior and Senior High School Students in Yogyakarta City are Smokers, viewed 22 November 2019, <https://ugm.ac.id/en/news/6536-16-percent-of-junior-and-senior-high-school-students-in-yogyakarta-city-are-smokers>.

Nawi Ng, L. Weinehall, A. Öhman, 2006, ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking, Health Education Research, vol. 22, no. 6, pp 794–804, viewed 22 November 2019, <https://academic.oup.com/her/article/22/6/794/640787>.

Nichter M, Padmawati S, Danardono M, et al, 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 02, pp 98-107, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98>.

Octavia, A. A, 2017, Meningkatnya Perokok Aktif Remaja di Yogyakarta (The increasing number of teenage active smokers in Yogyakarta), Kompasiana, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://www.kompasiana.com/agnessayuu/5a1fe9a72599ec3ccd0e9074/meningkatnya-perokok-aktif-remaja-di-yogyakarta-meski-sudah-banyak-peringatan-bahaya-merokok-bagi-kesehatan>.

Prabandari, Y. S. & Dewi, A. 2016, ‘How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students’, Global Health Action, vol. 9, no. 01, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/citedby/10.3402/gha.v9.30914?scroll=top&needAccess=true>.

Reynolds, C. 1999, ‘Tobacco advertising in Indonesia: “the defining characteristics for success”’, Tobacco Control, vol. 8, pp 85-88. viewed 22 November 2019, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/8/1/85>.

Strangio, S. 2017, This cigarette advertisement in #Yogyakarta urges smokers to “never quit” #Indonesia, Twitter, viewed 22 November 2019, <https://twitter.com/sstrangio/status/886872286195613698>.

Tarwoto, 2010. Kesehatan Remaja : Problem dan Solusinya, Salemba Medika, Jakarta, viewed 21 November 2019, <https://kink.onesearch.id/Record/IOS3254.slims-687>.

Post B : #WaitForWater Campaign that reached tremendous success

Public health issue has been widely discussed since the last decade. According to reports, some of the most concerning issues include HIV, food safety, and many more (Beckers Hospital Review, 2018). Mass media such as televisions, radio, magazines, have been broadly used to address health related campaigns (Brown & Einsiedei, 1990). Another common public health issue that has been raising awareness is related to drinking water quality in several cities all over the world (Levallois and Villanueva, 2019). 

There are already some articles that focuses on this particular issue, for instance this article written by Frederiksen. Frederiksen (1996) stated that the world’s population will increase in the next decade and fresh water supply that we have now will not be sufficient for generations to come.

Women in developing nations have to wait up to six hours in order to get fresh water, resulting in them neglecting school and work (Arthur, 2017). To tackle down this serious problem, a campaign that intended to put water crisis into perspective of people who take water access and availability for granted was created. Stella Artois, a Belgian company, together with actor Matt Damon, who is also the co-founder of Water.org, rolled out a digital international non-profit campaign collaboration to help millions of people around the world to have access to clean water.  

How does this work?

#WaitForWater campaign centers around a video that shows a stunt going on in a restaurant and a hotel. Employees were asked to tell customers that they don’t have any water available and will have to wait up to six hours for a shower or a glass of water. Hidden cameras that were set surrounding the scene captured the expressions of baffled customers hearing the news (Oster, 2018). 

Screenshots of the video for the campaign, Adweek, 2012

Link to video : https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/stella-artois-makes-people-wait-for-water-in-extension-of-water-org-super-bowl-effort/

Did it give out any good result?

This campaign received a huge attention and successfully gathered over 22 MM views across the world (Shorty Awards, 2018). This partnership has provided more than a million people in developing countries access to water (Pagano, 2016).

Overall, the campaign gained a tremendous success as it resulted in water access for so many people in developing countries (Shorty Awards, 2018). In my opinion, the way the campaign got introduced to people is unique, as people who take water for granted could even in a short time, feel how devastating it is to not have access to water. The key of this campaign is to give a psychological effect towards the target that might result in them trying to quit a specific habit. 

Reference Lists :

Arthur, R. 2017, Stella Artois announces commitment to Matt Damon clean water campaign, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2017/01/17/Stella-Artois-Matt-Damon-clean-water-campaign>.

Beckers Hospital review, 2016. CDC: 10 most important public health problems and concerns, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/population-health/cdc-10-most-important-public-health-problems-and-concerns.html>.

Brown, J. D. & Einsiedei, E. F., 1990, ‘Public Health Campaigns: Mass Media Strategies’, Communication and Health: Systems and Applications, no. 1, pp. 153-71, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0Tv8AQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA153&dq=importance+of+public+health+campaigns&ots=PyfLHMl-dl&sig=q3FNew_q1469VOPhWAiZwJ1zwcw#v=onepage&q=importance%20of%20public%20health%20campaigns&f=false>.

Frederiksen, H. D. 1996, ‘Water Crisis in Developing World: Misconceptions about Solutions’, Water Resources Planning and Management, vol. 122, no. 2, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://ascelibrary.org/doi/pdf/10.1061/%28ASCE%290733-9496%281996%29122%3A2%2879%29>

Levallois, P. & Villanueva, C. M., 2019, ‘Drinking Water Quality and Human Health: An Editorial’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 631, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/4/631#cite>.

Oster, E. 2018, Stella Artois Makes People Wait for Water in Extension of Water.Org Super Bowl Effort, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/stella-artois-makes-people-wait-for-water-in-extension-of-water-org-super-bowl-effort/>.

Pagano, M. 2018, Matt Damon’s quest to turn lager into water, viewed 18 November 2019, <https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/matt-damons-quest-to-turn-lager-into-water-a8192236.html>.