Advertising takes on meth

4 Mar

Some very powerful TV ads  – click here to watch them – from Montana showing how kids can get sucked into meth addiction from one hit.

Seeing them led me down some Internet wormholes where I came across this numbing video about the evils of this potent street drug.

The news is getting worse for parents, as this article makes clear. You can lace just about any drug with meth to create that addiction.

It reminds me how powerful a tool we ad people wield when we find the right surface to smash it on.


8 Responses to “Advertising takes on meth”

  1. theothergardener March 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    This sort of advertising has been tried a number of times. One wonders whether it doesn’t create a strangely romanticized view of ‘drug drama,’ in the context of a culture where the gross is king.

  2. dougbrowncreative March 4, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Shock tactics sure aren’t new. But what I liked about these spots was the repetitive, mantra-like strategy: all it takes is one use. I think that’s the message the advertisers are trying to bludgeon the kids over the head with, rather than just: ACK! IT’S GROSS!

  3. Michael March 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    I’m not sure if theothergardener has seen the entire campaign. I don’t think the ads are going encourage the kids to be like just like the $15 whore.

  4. Nigel March 5, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Interesting timing! We’re just about to launch an anti-meth and synthetic drugs campaign up in the North (NWT). We did extensive research, focus groups and interviews on exactly this topic – whether or not the typical scare tactics would be effective. Our research focused on our target audience of youth (12-24), people in the addictions/heath industry, and support workers. All results told us that using a frightening message wouldn’t be received well here. However, the main difference is that here the drug is not an issue yet. We believe that as a preventative campaign a simple message to empower people to say no is the key.

    On the other hand, in a place like Montana where meth has taken a serious toll on the community, people are welcoming these messages and they are proving to very effective. They’ve really done an excellent job with the campaign.

    We are set to launch our campaign on March 29, in Hay River, NT. We hope it can make a difference.

  5. dougbrowncreative March 5, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Nigel, thanks for the insight. It’s hard to read that a target for an anti-meth/synth drugs campaign would be as young as 12, but some of the kids in the Montana spots were that young. Would you be willing to share your work with us when the campaign is up and running? Very interested to see it! Good luck with the campaign.
    Nigel is at Kellett in Yellowknife.

  6. Nigel March 5, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    One of our interviewees was under 14 and had already tried crack. I am sure if meth was available that would have been the next step. It’s scary, but real.

    We’d love to share our work.



  7. Michela March 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Wow, powerful stuff. I remember seeing the one spot about the girl wishing she had crashed her car instead of trying meth for the first time and it really stuck with me. The simplicity of the message is definitely what I find most impactful.

  8. dougbrowncreative March 5, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Michela, the one that just punched me in the stomach was where the girl says about the dealer “I’ll just sleep with him once for a hit.” I know these spots will galvanize parents. I am happy to hear that they are working with kids as well. Follow this link to see the results of this campaign two years in. 63% reduction in usage amongst kids. Phenomenal.

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