U of M marketing professor weighs in on 'Meth. I'm on it" ad campaign

Ad agency from Minneapolis created the viral campaign to address meth use in SD

Sloane Martin
November 19, 2019 - 4:47 pm

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By now you've seen the ads put out by the state of South Dakota to address meth use, with the responses on social media ranging from head scratching to raised eyebrows. The campaign is the brainchild of a Minneapolis marketing firm.

In a statement, the agency Broadhead Company said, "as we’re concerned, the campaign is doing its job. It’s generating conversation, it’s soliciting all kinds of reactions and, yes, it’s making people uncomfortable. But discomfort causes change and demands action...It’s intended to make you stop and do a double-take."

In an effort to "break through the noise and do something different," Broadhead wanted to "be provocative" and "drive a lot of conversation" because "meth is everyone’s problem and we need to come together to put an end to it."

Akshay Rao, marketing professor at the U of M's Carlson school, says they succeeded with being provocative, but with the slogan, there's a possibility the message is obfuscated.

"If you're not paying too close attention to the underlying argument, which is we together can address this issue, you might view this as, 'these guys are on it? I can try it as well.'"

Rao says the success of the campaign will be determined not by media attention, but by its goal in reducing methamphetamine use.

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