The state of South Dakota unveiled its new anti-meth ad campaign yesterday and people on Twitter spent a good portion of their day making fun of it. The ads feature the slogan “Meth, we’re on it,” or some variation, superimposed over photos of all sorts of different types of South Dakotans, from old men in cowboy hats to high school football players. The ads direct people to visit a website titled OnMeth.com, and… straight up the whole thing looks like a meme.
The implication is that meth-addiction is a widespread problem that affects people from all sorts of different demographics, but that seemed lost on many on Twitter who either criticized the ad for being ineffective or were displeased that the campaign cost $500,000, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper.
@KristiNoem Thank you for using half a million dollars to make the shittiest ad campaign known to man, when that money could have gone to rehab clinics and facilities that would have actually helped. You are a corrupt embarrassment wrapped in idiocy. #MethWeAreOnIt
— Komi (@YmirTama) November 19, 2019
— A Pretty Normal Podcast (@prettynormalpod) November 19, 2019
— Blair Braswell (@BlairBraswellRE) November 19, 2019
However, it looks like a response like the one that erupted over Twitter may have been the ad campaign’s goal in the first place. The Governor of South Dakota took to Twitter to defend the campaign tweeting, “Hey Twitter, the whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness. So I think that’s working.”
It took me sev mins to figure out if S. Dakota’s #MethWeAreOnIt ad campaign was real (it is), then sev more to stop laughing that they spent $500K on this. Now I find I’ve read mult articles on the meth problems of SD & realized that those ad people are no fools. @govkristinoem pic.twitter.com/bgkrlqgt9N
— Tatiana Prowell, MD (@tmprowell) November 19, 2019
— Chris Robinson (@CRMusicWriter) November 18, 2019
South Dakota faces a very real meth-amphetamine problem, just last year the small state — which has a population of 882,235 people — made 3,366 meth-related arrests and the drug was responsible for the death of 13 people; according to the South Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey, South Dakotan youth are at a higher risk of using methamphetamines compared to the national average.
While the ad campaign did indeed get people talking, we very much doubt arguing over whether or not the people who put together the ad were more like Don Draper or Michael Scott was the conversation they wanted us to have. Still, if it leads to better awareness that will, indeed, be a net positive.