Putting the segments from Last Week Tonight on YouTube the next day has proved so successful for HBO that it’s hardly necessary to watch the actual show on HBO anymore. Viral clips have become currency for traditional networks, and every week Last Week Tonight has at least one. And they’re always amazing, so far, without fail.
This week’s features John Oliver going over how smoking rates have dropped dramatically in the U.S., but tobacco companies are making more money than ever.
How can this be? Well, it seems like they’re focusing their efforts in smaller countries where they have no regulations on the advertising, purchasing and selling of the smoking products themselves.
Recently, though, it seems that some countries have opted to put harsher warnings on the labels of tobacco products, which leads to a drop in smoking, and generally saves lives. But what about countries where the illiteracy rate is up to 40%?
Governments want to put some kind of visual warning on tobacco products, while tobacco companies sue entire countries because they want memorable, branded images appearing on their labels.
For that debacle, John Oliver suggests that all tobacco companies can use a mascot he is willing to give away for free, and has already been field testing around the world for them. And that character is Last Week Tonight creation Jeff the Diseased Lung.
Jeff the Diseased Lung is not only an accurate portrayal of what smoking does to you in the long term, but he’s also a smoking cowboy that kids can enjoy. This way everyone wins!
And if you scroll to the 15:00 mark of the video you’ll see Jeff, in all his glory, decorating the streets of Uruguay via billboards, t-shirts and more.
This is a perfectly reasonable solution. Support awareness of Jeff by sharing the idea with the hashtag #JeffWeCan.