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Dear Me,

Letting smokers convince themselves.

Convincing lifelong smokers to quit is nearly impossible. Smoking rates among the working poor are high almost everywhere in the United States and traditional efforts to convince this group to quit smoking have failed. So we stepped aside and let them convince themselves. 

We asked real current smokers to write "Dear Me" letters to themselves. Then read their letters aloud.  Shot with Pulitzer Prize winning photographer David Turnley, we filmed the entire process and created six different commercials. Here are a few of my favorites.

To tell the deeper story behind each letter, viewers could watch mini documentaries about each person online. Many were inspired to write and share their own "Dear Me" letters. 

With each author's permission, we poster real, unedited "Dear Me" letters inside public buses as well as community centers and food banks. The "Dear Me" program has been picked up by 19 states and the Center for Disease control. Calls to 1-800-QUITLINE tripled in each city. To this day, cities across the country continue to create new versions of the commercials. 

 

To this day, cities across the country continue to create new versions of the commercials. 

Covered by Adweek, the “Dear Me” radio spots caused the Radio Mercury Awards to change the rules to let a public service campaign win the Grand Prize for the first time ever. 

AWARDS — D&AD Graphite Pencil, Communication Arts Advertising Annual, Silver Clio, One Show Merit, Radio Mercury Awards Grand Prize