‘Meth. We’re on it’: Oddly-worded South Dakota drug awareness campaign ‘breaks bad’ on social media
South Dakota has rolled out a new anti-drug campaign warning about the dangers of substance abuse and costing taxpayers almost half a million. But its wording, “Meth. We’re On It,” has drawn ridicule online.
Taking a bizarre twist on “I am Spartacus,” the ads portray average South Dakotans – a kindly old farmer, a churchgoing grandma, high school football players – sternly telling the camera “I’m on meth,” with a narrator cutting in with the standard anti-drug PSA: “meth is not someone else’s problem.”
While the ads attempt to take a serious tone to address a crisis “growing at an alarming rate,” countless social media users couldn’t help but laugh at the odd wording of the message, one asking“Are we sure this isn’t a pro-meth campaign?”
Developed by marketing and ad firm Broadhead Co., the campaign cost the state just shy of $450,000, including for the video series, billboards, posters and a website, but some were not impressed with the hefty price tag and offered their own services.
There was some dispute over whether the double-entendre implied in “Meth. We’re On It” was deliberate, some criticizing the ads’ “phrasing,” others hailing it as a brilliant marketing move.
Anyone tweeting anything to the effect of “get a load of these yokels, bet they wished they’d hired a copy-editor” regarding the South Dakota anti-drug initiative slogan (“Meth. We’re On It”) is proving what an ingenious marketing campaign it is by giving them free advertising.
Running with the idea, netizens helped South Dakota brainstorm additional not-so-anti-drug slogans.
The meth campaign is not the first time South Dakota has raised eyebrows with a quirky public service announcement, running a series of ads in 2014 warning drivers not to “jerk and drive” in snowy conditions – referring to the steering wheel, of course.
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