There have been a lot of really, really ridiculous anti-drug commercials. For over 80 years, and quite possibly centuries more, the go-to device for pushing intolerance onto others has been propaganda. The problem with any propaganda is the difference between the views of those who create it and the reception of its audience. Take, for example, the latest incarnation of anti-marijuana espouses, the Stoner Sloth.
A tried and true tactic
With marijuana, even the name is a product of smear campaigning. From the “Reefer Madness” campaigns at the inception of cannabis prohibition to the “Brain on drugs” shock therapy of just decades ago, the only thing that the Drug Crusaders haven’t tried is telling the truth. The latest ad, out of Australia, is the Stoner Sloth. But how effective is it? Watch this hilarious video to find out.
What teens think
“Is this the marijuana video from Australia?” one girl cries as soon as the ad begins. “I love this video!”
In this video, several teens are shown the ad campaign, featuring a sloth who is meant to portray what someone is like on cannabis. The childish depiction shows three different settings. One, a student too dumb to focus in class, then a teen too blazed to pass the salt, and finally, a teen at a party too messed up to have a good time.
“That might have been the worst anti-something ad campaign I’ve seen in my life”
“I can’t tell if this is suppose to be sad or funny.”
“Weed does not make you brain dead like this. This is pretty dumb, to be completely honest.”
“Ok, wait, they were serious? I thought that was definately a joke.”
“I don’t find it to be very effective, only because it’s not accurate.”
What does this tell us about our audience? Well if anyone remembers being a teenager, it means that young adults are tired of being treated like children. They want facts, not childish gimmicks that make them feel belittled. If we want them to make responsible decisions, we have to treat them like they are mature enough to make them.
Do we want teenagers using mind-altering substances, benign or not? No. But the ridiculous exaggerations, “you will go to hell’s“, and “because I told you so’s” won’t cut it with a generation that can look up the truth with the touch of a finger. The only thing ads like this do is take away our credibility in their eyes. If you don’t think so, just listen to what teens have to say.
Do you think the truth is the best way to educate our children? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.