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‘Meth. We’re On It,’ South Dakota Says in Ridiculed Ad Campaign That Cost $449,000

A spectacular fail.

From The Washington Post:

South Dakota is on meth — at least, that’s the message behind a new anti-drug ad campaign so widely mocked that one marketing expert could only laugh before calling it “a colossal blunder.”

The “Meth. We’re On It.” awareness initiative was unveiled Monday by South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) to address the state’s methamphetamine crisis. In a news release, officials underscored the importance of combating drug use in a state where twice as many 12- to 17-year-olds reported using meth compared with the national average.

“South Dakota’s meth crisis is growing at an alarming rate. It impacts every community in our state, and it threatens the success of the next generation,” Noem said in a public service announcement. “This is our problem, and together, we need to get on it.”

“Let’s get meth out of South Dakota,” she added.

The state’s Department of Social Services paid a Minneapolis ad agency nearly $449,000 this fall for the effort, the Argus Leader reported, citing the state’s finances website. Several of the advertisements feature photos of people stamped with the “Meth. I’m On It.” motto. Noem also requested more than $1 million in funding to support meth treatment services, according to the news release, and a website — — promises to connect residents to preventive and treatment resources.

But Bill Pearce, assistant dean at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, said any sincere messaging by the governor was lost by an ad campaign that embodies “poor strategy and poor execution.”

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