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FDA & FCB Bring Dangers of Cigarette Addiction to Life in New Video Game for Xbox

Press Release - New York, 19 March 2019

Award-winning director Darren Aronofsky and biggest gaming influencer in the world support the latest installment of “The Real Cost”

FCB New York, in partnership with FDA, today announced that it has launched the newest evolution of “The Real Cost” youth tobacco prevention campaign. This latest initiative brings the dangers of cigarette addiction to life in a horrifying new video game, available on Xbox. 

This new initiative targets youth ages 12-17 whoare either open to trying cigarettes or are already experimenting. This target regularly plays video games, so to allow these teens to experience, firsthand, the grave and addictive consequences of smoking, FCB created the “One Leaves” console game for Xbox – after IPG agency Initiative spearheaded media – where teens are transported into a labyrinth from which they will try to escape (and from which only one will emerge). The free, downloadable game seeks to represent a grim metaphor for addiction: a maze with seemingly no exit in sight.  

The game is based on the disturbing statistic that for every four teenagers who smoke cigarettes in high school, three will continue smoking well into adulthood, even if they try to quit. Put another way: For every four who enter…only “One Leaves.” Like any big game launch, a riveting trailer is a must, so FCB collaborated with award-winning director Darren Aronofsky to create a trailer, digital and social content in the vein of popular, found-footage horror movies, to tease “One Leaves” where the competition for eyeballs is fierce. 

“This game is part high school, part hospital and part hell,” said Gary Resch, FCB New York EVP, executive creative director. “Our mission, alongside FDA, was to deliver the potent ‘3 out of 4’ addiction statistic in a truly provocative and experiential way.”

“The Real Cost,” first developed by FCB in 2014, has successfully prevented nearly 350,000 youth from smoking cigarettes, and for each at-risk teen prevented from becoming a smoker, there is $181,000 in cost savings – which means the campaign has averted over $31 billion in future medical costs to date. 

FCB and FDA are also partnering with a mega-influencer and one of the most popular gamers in the world to further fuel the Xbox game and drive downloads – particularly within the gaming community.

“For many teens, cigarette addiction is something that happens to older smokers. The power of ‘One Leaves’ is that it reframes addiction in a way that’s more immediate and relatable to those teens. If you play with cigarettes, you will get trapped,” added Suzanne Santiago, FCB New York EVP, group management director.

Most recently, the “One Leaves” virtual experience became a real-life experience in the form of an intense escape room at the 2019 Winter X Games. The campaign also consists of social, online radio, banner ads, custom units and online takeovers. 

Link to trailer:



Kathy Crosby – Director, Office of Health Communication and Education

April Brubach – Deputy Director, Office of Health Communication and Education

Gem Benoza – Director, Division of Public Health & Education

Michael Murray – Supervisory Health Communications Specialist

Emily D’Iorio – Health Communications Specialist 

Karina Jimenez-Donovan – Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellow

FCB New York:

Ari Halper – Chief Creative Officer

Gary Resch – EVP, Executive Creative Director

James Meiser – Senior Art Director

Cecile Robertshaw – Senior Copywriter

Stacy Flaum – Executive Producer

Suzanne Santiago – EVP, Group Management Director

Dimas Adiwiyoto – VP, Account Director

Mallika Rao – Account Supervisor

Ally Morrow – Account Executive

Katie O’Hara – Assistant Account Executive

Shantal Gonzalez – Project Manager

Jared Shell – Account Director

Earl Adams – Account Director


Lindsay Gilfeather – Manager, Digital Partnerships

Erin Hourihan – Associate Director, Broadcast Partnerships

Meegan Scally – Negotiator, Digital Partnerships

Dan Tighe – Managing Director


Darren Aronofsky – Director 

Matthew Libatique – Director of Photography

Sandy Haddad – Executive Producer

Ted Robbins – Executive Producer, Line Producer

Scott Franklin – Executive Producer




About FCB 

FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) is a global, fully integrated marketing communications company with a heritage of creativity and success dating from 1873. Based on a deeply developed understanding of diversified local markets and global cultures, FCB focuses on creating “Never Finished” campaign ideas for clients that reflect a deep understanding of the brand’s past, a respect for the present and an anticipation of the future potential. With more than 8,000 people in 109 operations in 80 countries, the company is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). Founded in 1873, FCB New York has helped build some of the world’s most iconic brands, like FDA’s “The Real Cost,” LG Electronics, GSK and NIVEA. Learn more at and follow us on Instagram (@FCBNewYork), Facebook (@FCBNewYork) and LinkedIn (@FCBNewYork).