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High on denial, or half-baked strategy?

High on denial, or half-baked strategy?


It’s a clever concept. But it takes more than cleverness to get through to people.

This latest campaign from The Partnership at (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America) takes a classic ad gimmick of role reversal to make parents culpable for their children’s drug use. Never mind that the mom appears to be zoned out on OxyContin to begin with — but even non-baked parents have a hard time telling if their kids are into recreational drugs. It doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try to be good influences who talk openly with their kids about the social and health hazards of the choices they make. But the most overprotective parents, in my own experience, were the ones whose kids were most out of control as soon as they were out of sight of home.

Then there’s the “enabling” one:

Personally, I’d rather have my kid partying at home. But then again, I’m less worried about teens drinking and smoking pot than I am about them driving drunk (or being a passenger of a drunk), being sexually assaulted, or getting involved in other violence when they need to seek sketchy places and company just to hang out and be young. But then again, I’m a bleeding heart “harm reduction” kind of guy.

What do you think of the campaign?

The Partnership at (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America)
Energy BBDO

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more