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The smoking phone

I saw this anti-drug PSA in the newspaper today and did a double-take. Then I thought, “Hey, clever!” This ad is a few years old, but it was new to me.

The copy reads, “If you suspect your teen is using a cell phone to connect to drugs, go to drugfree.org for help.”

There’s also a video execution:

This campaign dates to at least October 2010 (when the video was uploaded to YouTube), but I had never seen it before. The ad agency is Bailey Lauerman of Nebraska, working on behalf of The Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly called The Partnership for a Drug-Free America).

Bailey Lauerman’s website explains the concept like this:

“This campaign served as an intervention. Not on drugs, but on denial. No parent wants to think about their child using drugs. These days, though, it’s easier than ever for kids to get drugs. We needed to remind parents to remain present in their teens’ lives and remain vigilant in the fight to keep their kids off drugs—no matter how much they’d rather not think about it. The simple, arresting visuals helped the ads get picked up by national media, where they ran in frequent rotation. The powerful messaging and major exposure helped spread the word and point parents to the right resources for help.”

Before you write a comment: Just because I like the concept of this ad does not mean I think this ad is a wise use of money. Anti-drug PSAs, especially ones depicting marijuana as dangerous, seem a little ridiculous. But I suppose this ad might help a family somewhere, and it’s not causing any harm.

Here’s what I’d like to hear from you: Do you think the design is too cool? Ie., does it look too much like something you’d see on a t-shirt at the beach?

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Advertising, Technology

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