The 30-second commercial depicts a serene park setting, where a man sits on a bench reading a newspaper. Like a scene out of a horror film, a pair of hands places a clear plastic bag over the man's head. As he struggles to free himself, the hands disappear, but the bag remains. The words "This ... Is ... Asthma" appear on the screen accentuated by drumbeats. The man frees himself and begins gasping for air, while activity in the park continues without incident.
"We felt it was essential to demonstrate the severity of an asthma attack with dramatic break-through-the-clutter public service announcements," said AAF chairman Marion Sandler in a statement.
The spot, which begins airing this week in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, ends with a plea to help
find a cure for the disease, which afflicts an estimated 23 million Americans, many of them living in inner cities.--Aaron Baar