Designers play a huge role in the success of tobacco industry in Indonesia. Everything from branding, packaging, advertisement and others are created by designers to promote specific brand of cigarette. Designers and creative culture makers can take part positively to be an agent of change to break the culture of smoking with their talents through design activism. Design activism is an act of using our talents to create a good positive impacts that can inspire and educate others.
The tobacco industry is one of the leading industry in world, Indonesia is the second largest cigarette market in the world (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 2017). Designers and creative makers takes part in the success of the tobacco industry in Indonesia in the form of advertisement that designers make to advertise smoking cigarette that are advertise visibly saturates in Indonesia (Reynolds 1999), murals about smoking as well as entrepreneurs that accept cigarettes company as their sponsorship for their events play a huge role in the enablement of the tobacco industry. One of the many example is in 2008 PM International/Sampoerna one of the biggest cigarette brand in Indonesia, sponsored US singer Alicia Keys’ concert in Jakarta, Indonesia (Stanton et al. 2010). Designers and creative culture makers can be an ethical influence and an agent for change through design activism to tackle the culture of smoking in Indonesia by creating positive advertisement and rejecting offer to work in the tobacco related company. Creative culture can also participate in this change by not inviting cigarette company to sponsor their events or participate in the events that are sponsored by cigarette company.
There are still some barriers that designers and creative culture makers face when influencing change such as economic factor, since getting sponsorship for an event can be quite tough but because the tobacco/cigarette industry is one of the most biggest industry in Indonesia, it is easier to approach them to ask for sponsorship than other companies. Tobacco companies has been established since long time ago in Indonesia that makes them have a strong relationship with the government, moreover they are one of the largest tax revenue in Indonesia, influencing changes around tobacco industry might be harder because of the relationships they have with the officials.
PT Gudang Garam Tbk one of the biggest cigarette production company in Indonesia sponsored an English rock band on 2012 to perform at Yogyakarta (wowkeren 2012).
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 2017, The Toll of Tobacco in Indonesia, viewed 18 December 2019, <https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/problem/toll-global/asia/indonesia>>.
Reynolds, C. 1999, Tobacco advertising in Indonesia: “the defining characteristics for success”, viewed 18 December 2019, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/8/1/85.short>.
Stanton, C. R., Chu, A., Collin, J., Glants, S. A. 2011, Promoting tobacco through the international language of dance music: British American Tobacco and the Ministry of Sound, viewed 18 December 2019, <https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/21/1/21/476917>.
Wowkeren 2012, Grup Band Beraliran British Rock Akan Memulai Konser 18 Februari Di Jakarta, Disusul Tiga Kota Lainnya Yakni Surabaya, Yogyakarta Dan Bali, viewed 18 December 2019, <https://www.wowkeren.com/berita/tampil/00016847.html>.