South Dakota launched a series of ads as part of its campaign to combat methamphetamine addiction, but they are subjecting the state to ridicule because the wording suggests that everyone is on meth.
The advertising tagline unveiled this week is “Meth. We’re on it.” Some ads even feature individuals with the words, “Meth. I’m on it.”
While meant to signal the state’s ramped up efforts to combat use of the illegal drug, the ads are drawing the wrong type of attention.
Gov. Kristi Noem launched the campaign, saying that meth use is “growing at an alarming rate” in the state and calling it an epidemic. She said that the number of ninth graders who have tried meth in South Dakota is double the national average and described the campaign as “each one of us, no matter who we are, that we’re on the case of meth.”
Twitter users have been weighing in. “Yes this is real and yes the state spent nearly half a million dollars on it,” @diannaeanderson wrote in a tweet.
“So South Dakota paid $449,000 to a msp marketing agency to tell everyone they’re on meth,” @laurenarnold20 wrote on Twitter.
“I mean…did the state of South Dakota need to trademark ‘Meth. We’re on it.’ Like, they thought someone was going to try and steal it?” tweeted @dawashington.
Others used the campaign as an opportunity to poke fun at South Dakota’s previous ad campaign that compared the state to Mars as a way of selling it as a prime destination to settle down in. Its selling point? “Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?”
Despite the reaction, Noem said she considered the anti-meth campaign to be a success. In a statement on Monday afternoon, she said the mission was to raise awareness and that is exactly what they achieved.
“This a bold, innovative effort like the nation has never before seen,” she said, according to the Argus Leader. “I am confident South Dakota can lead the country in this effort and demonstrate ways we can aggressively combat addiction and spark opportunities for recovery.”