The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

The war on drugs doesn’t work. Any questions?

The war on drugs doesn’t work. Any questions?

This spot is a kind of remake from a widely discussed anti-drug classic ad from 1998. ‘Kind of’ because it explains that the war on drugs is a war on people. And that was not the message 18 years ago. The video is made by Green Point Creative, a New York based creative marketing agency focused on changing drug laws. They made it for the Drug Policy Alliance.

Original actress Rachael Leigh Cook tells the story again, as in 1998, with an egg as metaphor.

The spot begins with Cook holding up an egg and a frying pan. Only this time she says, “This… is one of the millions of Americans who use drugs, and won’t get arrested.” She then holds up a brown egg and says, “However, this American is several times more likely to be charged with a drug crime. Imagine it’s you.”

Rachael Leigh Cook referring to Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’, the documentary about racial inequality in the United States:

’13th’ was a complete revelation for me. The shocking, cold water education her documentary presented compelled me to reexamine my own involvement with a larger movement that has gone on to harm so many. When my unique position brought about the opportunity to raise my voice again about this issue, I knew it was the right thing to do. My hope now is to bring attention to the wildly unfair practices of drug sentencing and advocate for their reform.

The spot’s closing argument: “The Drug War is ruining people’s lives. It fuels mass incarceration, preying on people of color in greater numbers than their white counterparts. It cripples communities, costs billions and it doesn’t work… Any questions?”

Green Point:

Those charged with a non violent drug crime face fines and incarceration. More people are arrested for drugs than for rape, murder and robbery combined. And minorities are being railroaded into this system at much higher rates than their white counterparts even though drug use between both groups is about the same.

The original spot from 1998:

Creative Agency: Green Point Creative, New York
Creative Director: Howard Bowler
Managing Director: Jon Mackey
Production Manager: Mary Valentino

Production: Motiv Creative, New York
Director Ryan Kleier

Founder of Osocio. It all started with collecting election posters in 1973. And that's never stopped. Read more.

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