South Dakota spent nearly half a million dollars on its anti-drug ad campaign slogan, “Meth. We’re on it.” The ridicule spread far and wide. “HA – those stupid hicks are saying that they are on meth.”
Yeah, at first it looked pretty silly to me, too. Because I’m not on meth. No one I know is on meth. However, Meth is decimating rural communities. And South Dakota is about as rural as it gets. Are these people too stupid to realize the double entendre is making them look like fools?
But I’m not in the target market.
Who is the target market?
People in South Dakota who are on meth are the target audience. As well as people who want to do something about it.
This campaign went viral. If you search “South Dakota (not “South Dakota meth,” but just the name of the state) on Google right now – the top results are about this campaign.
Was this a good idea?
This is probably not going to be good for South Dakota tourism. The people who ran this campaign will be mocked for years. If it gets enough media attention, you can bet it will appear on SNL.
These people will look like fools.
On the other hand…
I think this program, because of its viral nature and the resources it provides, may do lots of actual good in helping communities and addicts. The state and its governor, Kristi Noem, are standing up and saying, effectively, “This has gone far enough. We will do anything to stop the spread of meth in South Dakota, and we don’t care if lots of you think we look foolish. We only care about slowing and reversing the toll of addiction.”
Would you be a fool?
Ask yourself: would you be willing to look like a fool if it made a big difference to something you cared deeply about?
Many people would choose other’s approval over boldly living their convictions and risk looking like a fool.
What do you believe in that is worth making a fool of yourself?