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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Comments

Those frying pan "This is your brain..." ads were the first of their kind in a time when no one at all was speaking out against bad ass drugs. Ad agencies are pretty good at targeting their stuff at the market which exists in whatever time. They are both appropriate.
-- Michael

Aatom

hmm. i think if your ad campaign becomes the official cultural joke of the deacde you can chalk it up to shitty advertising. They not only missed the target on that one, they gave the ammo to the other side. Ad agencies make horrible deicisons all the time, that's why there is such high turnover of accounts at the various agencies. I don't know if this Above the Influence campaign has any real traction, but it feels much more in tune with how a teenager thinks to me.

Tom

Ummm ... I'd have to say you're crazy if you call the "this is your brain on drugs" campaign "disastrous". The ad business is all about being memorable. It doesn't matter if it's a joke or whatever. No ad campaign is going to actually stop one from taking drugs if they want to. Just the fact that the catchphrase has hung around so long is testament to it's brilliance.

Aatom

Well, TV Guide agrees with you, Tom, they named the ad one of the top 100 of all time. But I agree with Gary Johnson from the Cato Institute back in 1999:

"A teenager today will tell you that a bottle of beer is harder to come by than a marijuana joint. The Partnership for a Drug Free America was bragging to me that it was responsible for the “Here’s your brain, and here’s your brain on drugs” ad. Well, some kids believe that, perhaps three-year-olds, maybe even nine- or ten-year-olds. But at some point, kids have friends who smoke marijuana for the first time. Like everybody else, I was told that if you smoke marijuana, you’re going to go crazy. You’re going to lose your mind. Then you smoked marijuana for the first time and none of those things happened. Actually, it was kind of nice. And then you realized that they weren’t telling you the truth. I envision advertising that tells the truth, which says drugs are kind of nice and that’s the lure of drugs. But if you continue to do drugs, they are a real handicap. We need to have an honest educational campaign about drugs."

http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v21n6/johnsonspeech.html

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