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

I stood up, and I blacked out…

I stood up, and I blacked out…


“One time I was sitting at my friends house and we’d been smoking for about four days straight, and I stood up, and I blacked out… My really good friend was checking my heart and he was freaking out because it scared him. He was like, ‘I thought you were going to die because your heart stopped twice.’ And they never took me to the hospital…”
Kara, Missoula – Age 15, started using at age 11

Last month the Montana Meth Project unveiled its new media campaign, including a series of television ads directed by award-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.  The research-based campaign is designed to show teens the devastating impact Meth can have on the friends and family of those who use the drug.  The nine radio, three print, and four television ads that are at the heart of the campaign will reach 80% of Montana teens three times a week.

“Our first campaign focused on the impact of Meth on the individual—the user,” said Montana Meth Project Founder Tom Siebel.  “For this next phase, we listened closely to our target audience—the teenagers in the state most affected by this epidemic—and used their input to drive our strategy.  They wanted us to show the collateral damage that occurs to users’ families and friends.”

The Montana Meth Project made headlines when its first public awareness campaign launched in September 2005.  Viewers were unaccustomed to such graphic depictions of the horrors of Meth use, and the directness of the campaign was applauded nationwide.  The White House recently cited the Meth Project for its effectiveness in the fight against the drug, and the campaign is now being adopted in other states, including Arizona and Idaho.

The new campaign takes a darkly ironic look at the dangers of Meth use to those closest to the users.  In one of the television ads, the voice of a girl tells how much her boyfriend loves and protects her while the filmed image conveys a much different picture of the boyfriend permitting a drug dealer to have sex with her in exchange for Meth.  Another has the protagonist speak of how loyal her friends are while the image shows them dumping her body in front of a hospital after an apparent overdose then speeding away in a car.
The spots were conceived and produced by San Francisco-based advertising agency Venables Bell & Partners, and directed by Darren Aronofsky.
All campaign material here




Montana Meth Project
Venables Bell & Partners

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