POST A: Designing in the Tobacco Landscape

Having visited Yogyakarta, it is evident that the culture of the city is fostered through the soul of creative art which can be seen all around. From street art, independent boutique stalls for designers and numerous galleries, Jogja is a place where creativity comes to life. “Central to the island’s artistic and intellectual heritage, Yogyakartais where the Javanese language is at its purest, the arts at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible.” (Lonely Planet, 2019). 

Street Art in Jogja, a glimpse into the creative landscape. Photograph by Aisling Rudge, 2019.

The first time I thought about the link between tobacco companies and the power that designers have, was when I was on a tour in Kali Code. My tour guide, Bayu, stopped to show us some art produced by students in the area. He said that each year the students are able to exhibit their work near Kali Code at an event sponsored by tobacco companies. This made me think of other ways that the tobacco industry has crept into the scenes of events, disguising itself as a friendly sponsor. 

My visit to Kali Code. Photograph by Aisling Rudge, 2019.

Such examples in the past have included the event Java Rockin’ Land, sponsored by Gudang Garam, an Indonesian cigarette company. The event also targeted school children, who “…are enticed to attend the event through special discounted ticket prices”. (SEATCA, 2010). The role of designers in helping to bring these sponsored events to life often include the creation of posters and advertisements that further the agenda of the tobacco companies. 

Still not having signed the WHO FCTC, Indonesia does not need to enforce measures for tobacco control. These measures for control include: “…ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship”. (Kin, Lian & Yoon, 2010). As a result, advertising and sponsorship by tobacco companies runs rampant throughout Indonesia, having a detrimental effect towards the tobacco cessation movement. A study on smoking behaviour showed that: “cigarette ads were perceived as encouraging youths to smoke”. (Dewi & Prabandari, 2016).

As designers, we can choose if we want to partake in furthering the power of the tobacco industry, or take a stand and say ‘no’.  American designer, Victor Papanek, notes that “social good and moral values are very important in a designer’s practice…”. (Savvina, 2016).

Whether it be through refusing roles that are associated with tobacco industries or through our own forms of self-expression such as street art, designers can choose how they want to influence the world around them.

‘Stop Smoking’. Photograph by Aisling Rudge, 2019.


Dewi, A. & Prabandari Y. 2016, How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students, Global Health Action, vol. 9, viewed 23 December 2019,

Java Rocking Land, 2010, Java Rockin’ Land, viewed 22 December 2019,

Kin, F., Lian, T. & Yoon, Y. 2010, How the Tobacco industry circumvented ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Observations from selected ASEAN countries, Asian Journal of WTO and International Health Law and Policy, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 449 – 466.

Lonely Planet, 2019, Yogyakarta, viewed 22 December 2019,

Savvina, O. 2016, Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education, Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, vol. 2, viewed 23 December 2019, 

Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, 2016, ASEAN Tobacco Control Resource Center, viewed 23 December 2019,

POST A: Designing for the next generation

Design is a complex system often difficult to define. Design activism in particular gives shape to a cause in a way that’s easy to understand and embrace, acting as a sustained platform for change.(Miles, 2019) However, not all design can resolve issues, but instead unknowingly or purposefully contribute to them. In terms of Indonesia’s smoking epidemic, design is a vital tool effectively used to promote tobacco use, whether this be through the use of public space (billboards, banners outside shop fronts), social media and television campaigns, packaging or sponsorships and endorsements of major events. The tobacco industry has and continues to connect with designers and creative culture makers successfully, with the industry increasing their economic gain through their strategic and appealing advertising schemes targeting the youth; the next generation smokers.

In Indonesia, particularly Yogyakarta the presence of smoking advertisements are everywhere. It is surprising when there is a lack of. In Reynolds ‘Tobacco Control’ she shares “…visiting the country in early 1997, I was appalled by the enormous amount of billboard and point-of-sale advertising, indigenous and multinational, so prolific it almost became a “natural” part of the Indonesian landscape.” (Reynolds, 1997)

Smoking Campaign, Borobudur, 2019 (own photo)

Fast forward 22 years later, I share in Reynolds experiences in the sense not much has changed. The lack of advertising control has enabled the tobacco industry to continue to thrive, with it living proof of how impactful design really is. With the rise of a technological era, the exposure of such design is more far-reaching than ever before, from streets to television screens, to the sponsoring of public events, social media and Youtube – media outlets that are more commonly used by Indonesia’s youth.

Gudang Garam’s GG Mild brand Youtube advertisement (2017) clearly advocates the ‘new generation’ as their audience, promoting creativity along side tobacco. Smoking continues to be promoted as a ‘social activity’ or something that is considered ‘cool’, using works by designers as an engaging technique.

Gudang Guram GG Mild Advertisement, 2017

In 2016, Global Health Action conducted a survey with high-school students to investigate how youth perceived cigarette advertising. This study revealed that cigarette ads were perceived as encouraging youths to smoke and that smoking status was consistently associated with perception of cigarette ads. (Global Health Action, 2016)

Not only is the imagery a key aspect of design, but so is placement. Banner design in particular is placed on store fronts in close proximity to schools as a subtle yet strategic method to appeal to youth. (Lamb, 2018)

L.A Bold Cigarette Billboard on Yogyakarta street, 2019, (own photo)
Clas Mild Silver cigarette advertisement on vehicle down Yogyakarta street, 2019, (own photo)

Across Indonesia, more design activism for anti-smoking initiatives is needed. Design is both the problem and the solution, and it effects everything. (Crosby, 2016)

Crosby, A. 2019, ‘Design Activism in an Indonesian Village’, MIT Design Issues, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 50-63, viewed 19 December 2019, <>.

Medicine Man, How does design affect our lives?, marketing agency, London, viewed 20th December 2019, <>.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Prabandari, Y., Ng, N., Danardono, M. & Nichter, M. 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia,’ Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 2, viewed 20th December 2019, < >.

Reynolds, C. 1999, Tobacco advertising in Indonesia: “the defining characteristics for success”, viewed 20th December 2019, <;.

Yayi P., Arika, D 2016, US National Library of Medicine, How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students viewed on 20th Dec 2019,<>

#Post.A The connection between designer and tobbaco industry

Designers have played a relevant role in the tobacco industry in Indonesia. Especially in tobacco packaging and advertising have become a dominant position. According to Lian(2010), Philip Morris mentioned “The primary job of the package and advertising is to create a desire to purchase and try”,which clarified the designer’s direction for tobacco companies.That means tobacco companies will be deemed to cigarette packaging an integral part of the marketing strategy. There are a lots of tobacco adverting in Yogyakarta such as the advertising of Dunhill cigarette brand showing the high technology and modern city to attract people attention. Another example is the television advertising of L.A brand, which the slogan is’ I lead the pack, I rule the world’ showing the man’s power to attract smoker to buy the cigarette. According to Unreported world (2012), a teenager called Fuad said he start to smoking is because the ads attract him. He feel like smoking is pretty cool while he saw the advertising on the television.

Dunhill television advertising

Moreover, package designer alway use bright colors and trendy flavors logo to attract smokers, such as tea flavor and cappuccino flavors shown on the package(Lian 2010). The tobacco package designer in order to reach the aim of attract people to purchase the cigarettes. They was design some of the commemorative pack showing the popularity of international sporting events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which is flags of top competitors are depicted on the packaging. Djarum cigarettes company also win some customer by introducing 12 limited edition pack design feature native to South Africa(Lian 2010). 


2010 FIFA World cup package with animal and football of Djarum.

Furthermore, there are no point to convincing the statement of the tobacco companies deny their advertising targets is under 18 year old is right. Because the themes of tobacco advertising that are likely to be very attractive to young people, such as humor, adventure, cool, bravery and success. According to Macfie(2019), The health warning on the package does not change the smoker behavior in Indonesia. As Surjanto Yasaputera who is work at a cigarette manufacturer in Jakarta said ‘ the health warning does not have a significant impact of sales after the country have implement it. And it it not getting attention of smoker. 


Reference lists:

Lian. Y. T. 2010, Are we to believe the package has no ROLE?, Abuse of the pack to promote cigarettes in the region, Southeast Asia tobacco control alliance, Bangkok, pp.1-pp.15.

Macfie, N. 2019, Indonesia rolls out graphic health warnings on cigarette packs,The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles, Sydney, viewed 19 December 2019, <;.

Unreported world 2012, Indonesia’s tobacco children, viewed 19 December 2019, <;.

Tobacco Farming in Indonesia

Although the tobacco industry provides a large amount of employment for some Indonesian people, these figures are often exaggerated by the tobacco industry to be used as bargaining chips when trying to promote their cause. Agriculture has always been a large part of Indonesias livelihood, employing 41% of the population in 2012 (Indonesia investments, 2012).

 However of the entire agricultural sector only 0.3% is comprised of tobacco farms and 0.03% of gross domestic product (Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture, 2010). Most agricultural farms in Indonesia are plantations of things like rubber, palm oil, cocoa and coffee (Indonesia investments, 2012).  When fighting tobacco control, tobacco spokespeople use employment figures anywhere from 3 – 10 million jobs (SEATCA, ). With varying figures and statistics, it is easy for false numbers to become factual as news and information spreads around.

Villages in high tobacco producing areas like central and east java do benefit highly from the seasonal work that comes with the plantations. However more issues arise as child labour becomes very tempting for struggling families looking for more income. Of the estimates 2.5 million Indonesian children who are working when they should be in school, 60% of those are working in tobacco farms (SEATCA, ). Children are at a high risk of green tobacco sickness, as nicotine is able to enter the body through the pores in our skin when handling tobacco leaves (Human Rights Watch, 2016). Some children report working 7 day weeks and feeling sick during their work days (Human Rights Watch, 2016). The main issue with child labour however is the inability to break the cycle of poverty without an education. If kids are not in school, it makes it much harder to learn new skills which can break them out of low paying jobs such as working on a tobacco farm.

What many tobacco control lobbyist in Indonesia want is a higher tax rate on cigarettes. This would make it harder for people to afford to smoke, which has been shown in other countries to really work to drive down smoker numbers. Currently an average of Indonesian smokers income spent on cigarettes is 19% and if that number could be lessened and spend on more productive parts of the Indonesian market then there would be an economic boom in Indonesian industry, with money spread out evenly. Rather than the billions of IDR going solely to the already enormous main 5 tobacco companies.  



A Brief History of Tobacco

Post D: Tobacco industry dominates Indonesia

Known to have rudimentary tobacco control policies, Indonesia ranks highly among countries with the highest tobacco consumption statistics globally. With rampant and prevalent tobacco advertisement and promotion highly visible in all media, the lax enforcement of legislative policies in Indonesia has resulted in detrimental consequences to their peoples’ health. The only Asia-Pacific country that has not ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Indonesia’s public health standards suffer as the country’s government fails to protect its citizens. 

Vital Stategies #SuaraTanpaRokok campaign targeting tobacco promotion in Indonesia (Vital Strategies, 2018).

With tobacco advertising ‘among the most innovative and aggressive in the world’ (Sebayang et al., 2012), Indonesia is evidently dominated by the tobacco industry. As advertisements and promotion for tobacco fill the streets of cities like Yogyakarta, larger companies have relentlessly implemented brand imagery and advertisement on billboards, television, in magazines, sponsorship, events, activities, interactive media and more (Prabandari and Dewi, 2016). With so much focus on advertisement is has undeniably become inevitable that the increase of smoking prevalence among the younger generation in Indonesia has increased rapidly over the years. It is said that in 2007, 99.7% of the Indonesian youth revealed to have seen tobacco promotion on television, 87% on billboards, 76% on print mediums and 81% had attended at least one event sponsored by the tobacco industry within their lifetime (Prabandari and Dewi, 2016).

Map of Yogyakarta, visual representation of tobacco promotion exposure to the youth of Indonesia (Data from Prabandari and Dewi, 2016.)

Intertwined between the legal, political and economic factors and considerations of Indonesia, the power of tobacco production within Indonesia contributes to being one of the largest sources of government revenue after gas and oil (Nichter et al., 2008). Often advertised and claimed to be a part of the culture, the Indonesian tobacco industry is decentralised as the cigarette excise taxes are one of the most important sources of national revenue, generating approximately 28 trillion rupiah ($4.2 billion US dollars) in 2006 (Nichter et al., 2008). A lack of initiative to change policies to better tobacco control within the country, the Minister of Finance stated that he ‘sympathise[s] with the idea of getting people to stop smoking, but for now, the cost is too high’ (Nichter et al., 2008).

A change that will require a strong will power from the country’s leaders, it is now more than ever that Indonesia needs to create and enforce anti-tobacco policies and legislations on a national and international level. A push for behavioural change needs to be implemented in order to save the younger generations from the harmful impacts of nicotine addiction and tobacco dependence.


Achadi, A., Soerojo, W. and Barber, S. 2004, The relevance and prospects of advancing tobacco control in Indonesia, Science Direct, pp.333-350, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Indonesia – Tobacco Atlas 2019, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

McCall, C. 2014, Tobacco advertising still rife in southeast Asia, The Lancet, vol 384, no 9951, pp.1335-1336, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. and Nichter, M. 2008, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, Tobacco Control, vol 18, no 2, pp.98-107, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. and Nichter, M. 2008, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, Tobacco Control, vol 18, no 2, pp.98-107, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Prabandari, Y. and 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 1, p.30914, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Sebayang, S., Rosemary, R., Widiatmoko, D., Mohamad, K. and Trisnantoro, L. 2012, Better to die than to leave a friend behind: industry strategy to reach the young, Tobacco Control 2012, pp.370-372, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Vital Strategies 2018, #SuaraTanpaRokok, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

POST D: The male strive to become a “smoking warrior”

Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year, with there being dramatically more male users than female users worldwide. Around 80% of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers live in low-middle income countries. (World Health Organisation, 2019) Amongst these countries, Indonesia is the world’s second largest tobacco market after China, with the population of active smokers being 67.4% male and 4.5% female.(World Health Organisation, 2018) These figures demonstrate how cultural, social and gender normalities surrounding tobacco usage have provoked this nature of toxic masculinity as well as how the act of smoking is associated with ‘fitting in.’

Top Ten Cigarette Markets by Volume, 2018

A society’s cultural norms and values help mould the way gender is perceived and expressed. (Marrow, 2010) In Indonesia, the presence of tobacco has been evident since the 16th century, adapting to what is now an accepted and social necessity. (Swandewi Astuti, 2018) Due to the normalisation of smoking culture, the tobacco industry is hugely influential, therefore continuing to target the male population aggressively. It is further encouraged by the positive connotations, with smoking promoted as a ‘pleasurable’ and ‘beneficial’. Social denormalisation of smoking can provide an environment that helps smokers to quit, (Schoenaker, 2018) which is what Indonesia’s cultural demographic lacks.

A 2006 study titled ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’ by Nawi Ng, highlighted the pressures of smoking and its engraved link to masculinity. It focused on 50 teenage boys in four schools in Purworejo District, Central Java purposely examining rural regions to collect understandings. Results found that the boys had not only emphasised that “man has always smoked”, but that smoking as an activity, increased social status amongst friends. If they smoked a ‘good’, expensive and popular cigarette brand, they felt more confident and superior to their peers. (Health Education Research, 2007)

“If we don’t follow our peers and smoke, they will call us feminine” (Health Education Research, 2007, p.798) This idea of achieving manhood is also promoted through smoking, as “A real man should be daring, courageous, confident…[and] able to prove his manliness.” (Courtenay, 2000,p. 73).
The masculine norms discourage ‘feminine’ behaviours and instead aim to express the ‘male identity.’

Project Quit Tobacco International also conducted their own research between 2001-2007 on how smoking appeals to men. After interviewing a sample of urban male smokers from Yogyakarta, results emphasised that masculinity was the main motivation.

In a particular interview, a young man who was a non-smoker, recalled how his uncle expressed concern that neither he nor his brother smoked; “There is nothing bad that will happen to you…It’s a shame for our family line that you and your brother are not smoking—all the men in our family smoke—your father, your grandfather. You are breaking the chain of our family’s smoking history”. (Nichter, 2009)

Population of female and male smokers amongst the whole and targeted regions of Indonesia, based off statistics from the World Health Organisation, 2017

Barber,S., Ahsan, A., Adioetomo, S., Setyonalur, D., 2008, ‘Tobacco Economics in Indonesia’, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, France, viewed 25th November 2019, <>

Morrow, M., Barraclough, S., 2010, ‘Gender equity and tobacco control: bringing masculinity into focus’, Sage Publications, viewed 25th November 2019, <>

Nawi, Ng., Weinehall, L., 2006, ‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking’, Health Education Research, Vol 22, no. 11, viewed 25th November 2019, <>

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., 2008, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, BMJ Journals, Arizona, USA, viewed 25th November 2019, <>

Schewe, E., 2017, Why Do So Many Indonesian Men Smoke?, Jstor, viewed 25 November 2019, <>

Schoenaker, D., Brennan, E., Wakefield, M., Durkin, S., 2018, ‘Anti-smoking social norms are associated with increased cessation behaviours among lower and higher socioeconomic status smokers: A population-based cohort study’, Plos One, viewed 25th November 2019, <>

Swandewi Astuti, P., Freeman, B., 2018, Protecting Indonesian Youth from Tobacco, The Conversation, Sydney, viewed 25th November 2019, <>

World Health Organisation, 2010, ‘Brief Profile on Gender and Tobacco in South East Asia region’, New Dehli, India, viewed 25th November 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].

‘Speeding. No one thinks big of you’; Problematic Problem Solving?

The 2006 media campaign: ‘Speeding. No one thinks big of you’ was one of the most memorable and effective TV campaigns of that era which drastically curbed road deaths in young people, it broke headlines overseas and saved countless lives. However, looking back on this campaign from the future lense we now have, with more knowledge about men’s mental health and unhealthy ideals of masculinity, can we find a better way to shift attitudes? 

In 2006 the RTA was facing a rapidly increasing problem; no matter how many shock horror car crash ads were aired, young males (17-24) in particular were dying more and more on the road (Roads and Traffic Authority 2009). Authoritarian voices and scare tactics weren’t working on this demographic in particular; at this age the risk centre in brain is not fully developed yet (Bessant, 2008).  Through research the RTA grew to understand the culture of speeding in young males and found that they were more likely to take risks when 2 or more passengers were in the car (Roads and Traffic Authority 2009). Drivers were showing off.

The ad campaign features women on the street and peers in the car wiggling their pinky fingers at the irresponsible drivers. They are basically saying that a driver who speeds must have a small penis, and the reason they show off in the car is to­­ compensate for that. The ad was a huge success and it uses two highly effective advertising methods:

1. Creating a symbol or action that can be copied and re created general public.

  • Once the idea is spread into the public, the message is regenerated and it becomes free advertising.

2. Shame tactics

  • Studies show that guilt, fear and shame are the most efficient emotions to tap into when advertising to young people. (Spinks-Earl, 2010) However is this ethical?

Body image issues in men have been linked to low self esteem, anxiety and depression (Olivardia, Pope, Borowiecki & Cohane, 2004). Western cultures even call a man’s penis “his manhood” meaning young men are susceptible to equating penis size with their self worth (Wylie & Eardley, 2007).

75% of yearly suicides in Australia are male (Molloy & Cook, 2019) and we are becoming increasingly aware of mental health issues revolving around men and masculinity.

This advertising campaign is particularly relevant to the tobacco issue project we will be working on in Jogjakarta as smoking advertising is directed at young men and is sold as a masculine activity . Breaking down this notion would be a highly effective angle to take in our projects, however we as designers have a responsibility to work in nuanced and holistic ways, which don’t shift one problem on to another.


Bessant, J. 2008. Hard wired for risk: Neurological science,‘the adolescent brain’and developmental theory. Journal of Youth Studies, 11(3), pp.347-360.

Molloy, S & Cook, M, 2019, Australian men are in crisis, with suicide rates rising. Meet some of the men who’ll die this week, viewed 21 Nov 2019 <;

Pope, H. G. Jr., Philips, K. A. & Olivardia, R. (2004). The Adonis complex: The secret crisis of male body obsession. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Roads and Traffic Authority 2009, Speeding. No one thinks big of you. 2009 Australian Effie Awards, viewed 22 Nov 2019 <chrome-extension://oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/>

Spinks-Earl, D. 2010, Effective Road Safety Campaign Using the Shame Appeal, MVMM, viewed 22 Nov 2019. <;

Wylie, K. R. & Eardley, I. (2007). Penile size and the “small penis syndrome.” BJU International, viewed 22 Nov 2019 ,99, 1449–1455.

Post B: Slip! Slop! Slap!

Source: Council, C. 2014, TV still of Cancer Council’s Slip Slop Slap campaign, Australian Broadcasting Network, viewed 17 November 2019, <>.

In 1981 the ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ campaign was launched by SunSmart and went on to become one of Australia’s greatest successes in the fight against skin cancer. Launched as a TV commercial, everyday Australian civilians would become to feel at home with a cheerful seagull in board shorts, t-shirt and hat who danced his way across tv screens singing the ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ jingle. 

During the time, Australians were experiencing skin cancer at an alarming rate most likely due to the hot Australian climate, our cultural love to be outdoors and lack of education on skin protection. As the dominate cause for melanoma cancer is extended time in the sun, the ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ campaign had to induce cultural change as well as educate a wide range of age groups, genders and cultures. ‘Sid the Seagull’ became the character that wedged the ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ campaign into Australian culture with his ‘Aussie bloke’ accent and “sizzle like a sausage” slang. By giving this universal jingle an entity, it allows the message to have an origin and therefore allows viewers to connect on a more serious level with the message presented. 

Source: The Original SunSmart Campaign with Sid the Seagull, Video Recording, Youtube, viewed 17 November 2019, <>.

The aesthetic of the campaign is another cultural connecting factor in the effectiveness of its widespread education. The rough illustrations and use of pastel colours appeal to a younger audience (the future), while the jingles lyrics and illustrations of working men may appeal to an older audience (educators). The Cancer Council of Victoria and VicHealth have been funding SunSmart since 1988. With the help of their funding, SunSmart has increased the use of sunscreen in everyday activities, educated individuals to prevent sun damage through the correct choice of clothing and has increased the number of individuals seeking medical checks. The campaign to reduce skin cancers has been successful because it was a comprehensive, integrated community awareness campaign. In addition to TV adverts, SunSmart has extended its educational reach by targeting public health messages through social media, schools, workplaces, the fashion industry and the television and movie industry as well as the surf lifesaving community and many others. 

A Survey by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare was published in 2017 to examine the incidence rates of melanomas from 1997 to 2014. The ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ era (under 40) see clear reductions in melanoma incidence rates, while the 40-60 age bracket are just levelling out, and the over 60 age bracket continuing to climb. 

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2017) Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality books, 2017

By examining this successful health campaign, we can take and apply effective elements to other campaigns regarding health issues. The ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ campaign has proven that education from an early age has a distinct relationship to change and effect within culture, not just over a specific era but over multiple. A psychological standpoint on the effectiveness of the campaign’s reception must be focused on as well. The ‘Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign has worked so efficiently over time because of its universality through sound and sight, but also because of its distinct inclusion of all target markets. 


Post B: ‘The Plain Packaging Act 2011’ as a movement for social change in Australian public health.

The problem of tobacco is one of the largest causes of death and disease Australia wide, killing 19,000 citizens per year (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019). It has been a goal of the Federal and State governments, to abolish this issue and to ensure that consumers are well informed of the extreme health concerns associated with tobacco; since the 1970s. 

Smoking is not only known to cause cancer, but also, heart disease, strokes, renal and eye diseases and many respiratory conditions which can decrease the quality and quantity of life, for an individual significantly. There have been a range of campaigns implemented since 1973 to reduce the rates of smoking. These have led to policies such as taxation on tobacco products, banning of advertising and laws against smoking in certain areas, such as restaurants.  

Tobacco culture in Australia has thus been impacted forever, as children are even taught about its negative impacts in school. The Australian government has taken all necessary measures to ensure that people are educated and not blind to the extreme consequences of the choice to smoke. Despite a broad range of regulatory measures which were in place to reduce tobacco use, the number of Australian smokers was still unacceptably high (The Department of Health, 2016).

Perhaps the most successful non-profit social change campaign, has been the ‘plain packaging’ initiative which has led to policy change in advertising and the design of cigarette packaging. The ‘Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011’ led to the removal of all branding, slogans and attractive designs and embellishments on tobacco packaging within Australia (Bayly M, Scollo M, 2017). It was the worlds first legislation to standardise tobacco packaging and was brought about as a response to the dangerous marketing of the tobacco industry which was highly successful through prestigious looking packaging with foiling and embossing, which was intended to provoke ideas that one brand was more superior to another.  The packaging was the key promotional vehicle which provided the misleading advertisement of a product which was known to cause death. 

 As of 2012, all tobacco packaging would include clear and direct warnings which would increase in size from 30% of the box to 75% on the front, as well as 90% of the back of the box. These warnings included bold text, and disturbing images showing the long term effects of smoking. Using shock tactics to generate specific psychological responses was successful, as this appealed to consumer emotions by provoking thoughts about the individuals own future if they were to continue smoking. The name of the company was now only allowed to be displayed in a small generic font and positioning, so that no brand could be showcased as more superior and luxurious. 

Before and After the Plain Packaging Act was implemented, (Hammond, 2017). 

Although this initiative and policy was carried out through packaging changes, it was also supported by non-profit government authorised TV advertisements which brought the images on the packaging to life. These mass media campaigns showed cancer sufferers and amputees, displaying their shocking quality of life, due to their body’s inability to function as it should. They aimed to change social behaviour and affect decision making when it came to choosing whether or not to smoke.  

Guidelines for The Plain Packaging Act 2011, (World Health Organisation, 2012).

The policy was successful in reducing the glamour and appeal of tobacco products, increasing knowledge of the effects of smoking, and promoting the Quitline. Within one year of the plain packaging initiative, 85% of smokers reported that they disliked the look of the packaging and it was not appealing to them. Attitudes changed in the 18-29 year old age bracket as 30% were convinced that the brands did not differ in quality. The number of Quitline calls in the first month increased by 78%, which led to countless smokers giving up their addiction due to the shocking warnings which they were forced to witness each time they reached for a cigarette (Medical Journal of Australia, 2014)

Overall, the campaign and policy brought about significant social/behavioural change due to a higher level of awareness into the long term impacts of tobacco use. The challenges associated with such a campaign, would be the commitment required to maintain the research process and monitoring of results. As well as the sustained effort required to create innovative solutions so that comprehensive approaches would be effective (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012). This policy is one which governments could easily implement worldwide, in particular, in Central Java, Indonesia, who would benefit from this policy in an attempt to provoke social and behavioural change though education of tobacco addiction rather than promoting the use of tobacco, allowing the industry to manipulate their people. 


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019, Smoking, viewed 18 November 2019, <>. 

 Bayly M, Scollo M 2017, 10.9 Brand portfolio strategies in the Australian market, viewed 18 November 2019, <>. 

Commonwealth of Australia 2012, National Tobacco strategy 2012-2018, Edition 1, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Scollo M, Bayly M, Wakefield M, 2015, Plain packaging: a logical progression for tobacco control in one of the world’s ‘darkest markets’, Tobacco Control 2015, BMJ Journals, viewed 18 November 2019, <>. 

The Department of Health 2016, Post-Implementation Review Tobacco Plain Packaging 2016, Australian Government, Canberra. 

Young, J. M, Stacey, I , Dobbins, T. A, Dunlop, S, Dessaix, A. L. and Currow, D. C. 2014, Association between tobacco plain packaging and Quitline calls: a population‐based, interrupted time‐series analysis, Medical Journal of Australia, Volume 200, Australasian Medical Publishing Company, Australia.


David Hammond PhD, 2017, Nothing plain about plain packaging, viewed 18 November 2019, <>. 

World Health Organisation, 2012, Get ready for plain packaging, viewed 18 November 2019, <>.