The Australian Government seriously don’t get it. They are currently on a youth targetted advertising blitz, buying out pretty much every bus stop lenticular in Sydney and Melbourne. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great they are trying to combat the growing drug problem amongst Aussie youth but they are making some massive stuff ups.
Stuff up #1 Poor media placement
They are advertising anti ICE , MARIJUANA and ECSTASY at the same time, and when I say time, I mean the dumb media agency are buying consecutive billboards/transit sites.
Stuff up #2 Two different drugs, virtually same message
The ICE execution ‘Ice Destroys You’ is virtually identical to the ecstasy execution…literally same type face, same shot of youth being restrained. It is so retarded and makes by blood boil that they are so out of touch with the psychology of young people and marketing 101.
The Australian government are treating all drugs as equal, and that’s an unforgivable sin. What does it say to a 16yr old where he sees an ad for ICE seeing a kid being restrained then walks 5m and then see’s virtually the same ad with a message for marijuana or ecstasy? It’s plain dumb. ICE is 500X worse than ecstasy and is way more addictive, deadly etc. In a nutshell the government is confusing kids and saying all drugs are as bad as each other. Totally ridiculous and totally untrue. Like saying a BB Gun (ecstasy) is as dangerous as an AK 47 (ICE). It’s creating a ‘Boy who cried wolf syndrome’…kids who experiment with ecstasy know it won’t kill them, they see their friends having a great time on it every weekend – when they see ads depicting ‘death’ they call ‘bullshit’ as more people die of the flu every year than ecstasy deaths. So when a really bad drug like ICE comes along and the government basically creates EXACTLY the same headlines/visuals for their campaigns, of course young people are going to go ‘bullshit’..”ICE can’t be that bad, it’s old K-Rudd trying to scare me again”…. It’s like they’ve got a template down there in Canberra for anti drug/alcohol print and outdoor advertising that says:
1. Insert Scary Headline around ‘death’
2. Insert image of 18yr old male out of control (they do the same for anti- drinking ads too )
3. Use the same layout for every ad, it has to be ‘consistent’……what a joke.
As usual they are using ‘fear’ tactics which youth reject, especially for ICE.. ‘Ice destroys lives’ is the message. This campaign is a carbon copy of one that ran in the USA in ’07 which did absolutely in reducing the incidence of ICE usage in the USA…it actually fuelled their excitement to try it out.
I believe the government should stop trying to scare kids and provide an honest assessment of what ICE does to you…show the good and the bad, and let kids make their mind up. Let them roll the dice. Treat them as adults and change the conversation.
The Australian government behaves as a PREDATOR when it comes to communicating to youth and they in turn typically ignore the communication. They’ve got to start behaving like a PEER…infiltrating social networks with their messages and starting conversations about the issue, rather than trying to scare the shit out of kids. The key here is education and creating That’s my Sunday night rant.
content that tells a true story of the pro’s and con’s of each drug and empower them to galvanise against drugs as a whole, rather than trying to pick them off one at a time.