A secondhand smoke YouTube singing sensation.

Laurie Hix 03/20/12 - 11:00 am

Never underestimate the power of a good idea. It will stick in your head for years. It will push itself to the forefront among other ideas. And when the right people see it and believe in its potential, they will jump on your bandwagon. I came up with the idea for “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose”, 17 years ago working on the Michigan Department of Community Health account at Brogan.

At the time, we were doing some TV spots, so radio wasn’t in the budget and YouTube did not exist. But the tune, “Secondhand Rose,” (which is in public domain) and my rewrite of the words had a sticking factor. And the tune stuck in my head for years. So recently when I heard MDCH needed a radio spot about secondhand smoke for parents of young children, I remembered that idea from long ago. Of course, the original script was gone, considering it was written on one of the first Macs! But I recreated it. And I couldn’t have scripted what happened next better. Our wonderful clients at MDCH, Kelly Niebel and Jason Holben, let us produce it as both a radio spot and a YouTube video (the latter has over 4,000 hits just after a couple weeks). Serendipitously, we found the perfect talent shooting another spot for STEM awareness. We called in favors to make it amazing and stay in budget. But the icing on the cake: powerful results. The calls to the Michigan Tobacco Quit Line were so dramatic, one of our clients exclaimed she “almost fell out of my chair.” So that great idea you have, it can happen. It just may need a little longer incubation period. What do you think of our “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose” spot for the Michigan Department of Community Health? I’m glad it stuck in my head all those years!

3 thoughts on “A secondhand smoke YouTube singing sensation.”

  1. AWESOME!! Remember him from
    AWESOME!! Remember him from the STEM commercial. What a great spot, and a great talent. Love it!

  2. I heard this on the radio on
    I heard this on the radio on my way through Michigan last week while on vacation and loved it. Indiana needs this one too!

  3. Thanks Pam, we are proud of
    Thanks Pam, we are proud of it! It does seem to stick in your head! New York has used some of our secondhand smoke commercials before, we’ll have to look into Indiana!

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