South Dakota spent nearly half a million dollars on its anti-drug campaign slogan “Meth. We’re on it.” The ridicule spread far and wide.
Ha, ha! We’re from South Dakota and we’re telling everyone we’re on meth! Those stupid hicks.
Yeah, it looked pretty silly to me, too. Because I’m not on meth. No one I know is on meth. Meth is decimating rural communities; South Dakota is about as rural as it gets. Are they too stupid to realize the double entendre is making them look like fools?
I’m not in the target market.
Who is the target market?
People in South Dakota who are on meth as well as people who want to do something about it.
And if they click through, this is what they see at South Dakota’s website onmeth.com
If you need help, you can get help. There’s a text number, a phone number, and while website full of resources, including a list of treatment facilities.
And if you want to help, there’s a list of useful suggestions along with a tip line to report drug dealers.
This campaign went viral. Here’s what you get if you search “South Dakota” (not “South Dakota meth,” but just the name of the state) on Google right now:
Yup. The top search results are about the campaign.
Was this a good idea?
This is not going to be good for South Dakota tourism. It will perpetuate biases about drugs in the midwest. The people who ran this campaign will be ridiculed for years.
They 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.”
Ask yourself: would you be willing to look like a fool if it made a big difference to something you cared deeply about?
Most of us wouldn’t have the courage. But maybe we should.