palau ministry of health

Taking a stand against the tobacco industry 

Concept Development / Visual Design / Campaign Materials

The combined revenues of the world's 6 largest tobacco companies in 2016 were more than $346 Billion — 122,411% larger than the Gross National Income of Palau.

Tobacco Industry Interference in Palau is an ambiguous problem. No one wants to be the first to resist Industry Interference when the gains are imperceptible and the costs are immediate. The costs to Palauans are diffuse while the benefits to public servants are concentrated on their immediate needs, namely the ever-present need for funding. This makes it very difficult to change behavior, especially when so many local businesses are profiting too. It’s like trying to get people to quit smoking only if smoking had no immediate downside (smell, cough), everyone else was doing it, and cigarettes paid you.

We helped launch a campaign to increase awareness of tobacco Industry Interference and the overall understanding of why this is harmful to Palauan communities.




In a country like Palau, the harmful effects of tobacco use impact every one of its residents, whether they smoke or not. Because according to a recent United Nations study, there’s a strong negative correlation between tobacco consumption and the pace of a country’s development. Simply put, the more a nation’s citizens use tobacco in all its forms, the more the entire country is held back. Everyone is aware of the devastating effects of smoking on a personal level. But far fewer people know that in a very real sense, tobacco hurts everyone.

the strategy

Those at risk of being influenced need to see their behavior in the context of some greater whole. They don’t want to stand alone.

Education on Industry Interference, how it works and its effects is important. There is a need for people to identify with the struggle against Industry Interference before they fully understand it. But one idea can’t get that whole story across. The team at Unified Theory created an integrated campaign to give Industry Interference education a jump start by way of the strategy 'Tobacco hurts all of us'.

Bold and practical in its appearance, the campaign was rolled out across traditional, social and out-of-home channels. We additionally looked to set up information booths at events with tobacco industry sponsorship, especially ones aimed at young people or with a “healthy” aspect, like a sports event. At the booth, people have the option to sign a postcard that would be delivered to government officials to promote policy change – to stop being addicted to tobacco money as a source of funding.

Palau Ministry of Health tobacco industry interference campaign postcards
Palau Ministry of Health tobacco industry interference campaign postcards

visual approach

At its core, to ‘run interference’ is to intervene on someone's behalf. The campaign makes use of a bold, typographical approach paired with an unexpected simple color palette. Our headlines are split between a discernible introductory line, completed with a visually contrasting line that paints the negative effects of the tobacco industry.

We play with our messages by way of a literal visual ‘glitch’ — an icon that interferes with the message — a nod to how the tobacco industry becomes a glitch in the well-being of peoples lives.

Palau Ministry of Health tobacco industry interference campaign branded campaign typography
Palau Ministry of Health tobacco industry interference campaign iconography
Palau Ministry of Health tobacco industry interference instagram activations

Measures of success

As the campaign rolls out through 2018, we are looking to see a downward trend of sponsorships and donations accepted from the tobacco industry in Palau. As a secondary indication of success, we should see support grow for anti-tobacco measures that are currently in the works.