BlogOnline CreativeVideos to WatchThe ice-cream argument in Thank You for Smoking

The ice-cream argument in Thank You for Smoking

Have you seen Thank You for Smoking?

If you haven’t, I recommend it to anyone in working with public relations — it’s satirical and funny as hell.

It’s the story about Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for Big Tobacco who showcases some astonishing moral flexibility to be able to do his job.

And what’s makes the movie so fun to watch is that he’s so good at what he does.

Not only that, but he also has a son (with his ex-wife) that he desperately tries to bond with.

Ice-cream argument scene in Thank You For Smoking.
Nick Naylor knows just what to say.

“But I’m not after you. I’m after them.”

In the movie, there’s one scene between Nick and his son that I recommend in particular:

The ice-cream debate.

I often get asked for advice on how to persuade someone who has an opposite stance with no intention of sharing your opinion.

In most cases, the people you’re facing are heavily invested in their opinions1. Especially if the cameras are rolling; what would their fanbase say if they suddenly said:

“Well, you know. I’ve heard your arguments and they make sense to me; I’m actually going to change my mind right here and now.”

That never happens, right? But, maybe that’s okay? Think about it:

Having a protagonist might just make your perspective both clearer and much more engaging for those who share your side of the issue.

The point is this:

When it comes to persuasion, there will always be people who won’t allow you to change their minds. However, you could always use your enemies to make your arguments clearer.


  1. See also Stupid Majorities (The David and Goliath Post).
Avatar of Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Watch this next