This is the Man
British & American Tobacco
Speakeasy produced a powerful drama for British American Tobacco to show that buying illicit cigarettes is not a victimless crime.
The aim was to raise awareness of the illicit trade in tobacco and its links to organized crime.
A key message was that over-regulation can cause an increase in illicit trade – with the profits linked to violent crime, terrorism and people trafficking.
Scripting the voiceover in rhyming couplets – This is the man who buys the box / No credit card, not from a shop – increases the tension – and creates a dissonance alongside scenes of criminality.
The film tracks the escalating nature of the crime involved, and the human cost. Snatched sections of dialogue and surveillance-style photography add to the drama.
Intended for lawmakers, health organisations and regulators, as well as the general public, the film was very well received by BAT and has attracted more than 16,000 views on YouTube.