There is almost nothing funnier in this world than a serious government ad campaign that becomes a meme. Lest we forget the meme gold that came from the NSW Government’s Stoner Sloth campaign. The internet’s newest target comes from a bit further away though – South Dakota has just launched a campaign called “Meth. We’re On It.” and it’s going about as well as you’d expect.
The campaign actually has some really good intentions. At the moment, 83% of South Dakota’s court admissions for drugs from this year were meth related, so it’s obviously a massive problem for South Dakotans.
The campaign website – onmeth.com – says that “South Dakota has a problem. There isn’t a single solution because meth is widespread. But we can approach it from different angles, so it doesn’t take over counties, towns, neighborhoods.”
And then it all falls apart with the tagline, “Let’s work together. Meth. We’re on it.”
Obviously the internet is losing its mind, it doesn’t take a creative genius to see the jokes that are right there ready to be made. And what makes it even more amusing is that state records show the government paid an advertising agency $448,914 for the ad. That’s $661,058 in Australian dollars.
South Dakota’s Governor, Kristi Noem, reckons that this isn’t a spectacular failure on behalf of the government and advertising agency, but rather a spectacular success.
“South Dakota’s anti-meth campaign launch is sparking conversations around the state and the country,” she said in an interview. “The mission of the campaign is to raise awareness – to get people talking about how they can be part of the solution and not just the problem. It is working.”
It’s absolutely possible for a government ad to work and change people’s behaviours. The Speeding: No One Thinks Big Of You campaign is probably the best example of an effective government ad, but I’m not quite sure the same can be said of “Meth. We’re On It.”