FCB & Aronofsky bring horror of smoking to Xbox

(Darren Aronofsky CREDIT: Shutterstock)

director Darren Aronofsky
and biggest gaming
influencer in world
support latest
installment of
“The Real Cost”

FCB New York, has partnered with the Food and Drug Administration, to launch its newest evolution of ‘The Real Cost’ youth tobacco prevention campaign.

This latest initiative brings the dangers of cigarette addiction to life in a horrifying new video game, available on Xbox.

And who better to bring that horror to life than director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, Mother)?

The new initiative targets youth ages 12-17 who are either open to trying cigarettes or are already experimenting. This target regularly plays video games, so to allow these teens to experience, firsthand, the grave and addictive consequences of smoking, FCB created the ‘One Leaves’ console game for Xbox – after IPG agency Initiative spearheaded media – where teens are transported into a labyrinth from which they will try to escape (and from which only one will emerge).

The free, downloadable game seeks to represent a grim metaphor for addiction: a maze with seemingly no exit in sight.

The game is based on the disturbing statistic that for every four teenagers who smoke cigarettes in high school, three will continue smoking well into adulthood, even if they try to quit.

Put another way: For every four who enter…only ‘One Leaves’. Like any big game launch, a riveting trailer is a must, so FCB collaborated with Aronofsky to create a trailer, digital and social content in the vein of popular, found-footage horror movies, to tease ‘One Leaves’ where the competition for eyeballs is fierce.

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“This game is part high school, part hospital and part hell,” said Gary Resch, FCB New York EVP, executive creative director. “Our mission, alongside FDA, was to deliver the potent ‘3 out of 4’ addiction statistic in a truly provocative and experiential way.”

‘The Real Cost,’ first developed by FCB in 2014, has successfully prevented nearly 350,000 youth from smoking cigarettes, and for each at-risk teen prevented from becoming a smoker, there is $181,000 in cost savings – which means the campaign has averted over $31 billion in future medical costs to date.

FCB and FDA are also partnering with a mega-influencer and one of the most popular gamers in the world to further fuel the Xbox game and drive downloads – particularly within the gaming community.

“For many teens, cigarette addiction is something that happens to older smokers. The power of ‘One Leaves’ is that it reframes addiction in a way that’s more immediate and relatable to those teens. If you play with cigarettes, you will get trapped,” added Suzanne Santiago, FCB New York EVP, group management director.

Most recently, the ‘One Leaves’ virtual experience became a real-life experience in the form of an intense escape room at the 2019 Winter X Games. The campaign also consists of social, online radio, banner ads, custom units and online takeovers.

Client: FDA
   Kathy Crosby – Director, Office of Health Communication and Education
   April Brubach – Deputy Director, Office of Health Communication and Education
   Gem Benoza – Director, Division of Public Health & Education
   Michael Murray – Supervisory Health Communications Specialist
   Emily D’Iorio – Health Communications Specialist
   Karina Jimenez-Donovan – Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellow

Agency: FCB New York
   Ari Halper – Chief Creative Officer
   Gary Resch – EVP, Executive Creative Director
   James Meiser – Senior Art Director
   Cecile Robertshaw – Senior Copywriter
   Stacy Flaum – Executive Producer
   Suzanne Santiago – EVP, Group Management Director
   Dimas Adiwiyoto – VP, Account Director
   Mallika Rao – Account Supervisor
   Ally Morrow – Account Executive
   Katie O’Hara – Assistant Account Executive
   Shantal Gonzalez – Project Manager
   Jared Shell – Account Director
   Earl Adams – Account Director

Digital: Initiative
   Lindsay Gilfeather – Manager, Digital Partnerships
   Erin Hourihan – Associate Director, Broadcast Partnerships
   Meegan Scally – Negotiator, Digital Partnerships
   Dan Tighe – Managing Director

Production Company: Chromista
   Darren Aronofsky – Director
   Matthew Libatique – Director of Photography
   Sandy Haddad – Executive Producer
   Ted Robbins – Executive Producer, Line Producer
   Scott Franklin – Executive Producer

Source: FCB