Stoner Sloth: The Biggest Anti-Cannabis Fail In A Long Time
Having watched the stoner sloth adverts, you may be excused for thinking they are a joke, or some blowback from the past that has resurfaced so we can all laugh and say how silly people were back then. Unfortunately, it is not. This is a current and serious campaign from the great minds of the Australian NSW Government, trying to warn teenagers of the dangers of smoking marijuana. To the creator’s credit (and probably chagrin, now), the videos have gone viral! You can check them out below; rather ironically, they are even funnier if watch while high!
A SOCIAL MEDIA BACKLASH
The videos portray scenes that are so patronising to today’s well-informed and connected teenagers that many thought it was a parody or spoof - and it is easy to see why. Fortunately, most of Aussie’s youth have taken it in their stride, ridiculing the campaign. A lot were quick to jump onto social media and make their views about the message, and the condescending way it was delivered, known - with Twitter and Facebook lighting up. Below are some of the great examples.
Taking things to the next level of hilarity, the campaign actually caused a massive rise in traffic to the website of a Colorado-based company also called Stoner Sloth – a pro-cannabis organisation whose aim is to help people “enjoy each and every smoking experience from seed to sleep!”
You couldn’t make this shit up!
MEDICAL EXPERT WALK AWAY
Thanks to the monumental PR failure of the campaign, as well as its failure to provide any educational or factual information, medical experts that were initially linked to the campaign are walking away and distancing themselves from it. According to a spokesman of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC), their experts only had an initial basic analysis involvement, giving general recommendations on how to construct the videos. In their statement they said:
“In this case, those general recommendations were things like being aware that teenagers are intelligent and have access to a lot of information, so campaign approaches should respect them and give them credit by avoiding hyperbole.”
You don’t say?
Even Mike Baird, the premier of the NSW government, took to Twitter to acknowledge and poke fun at the terrible campaign they had come up with.
If anything, this cock-up of an anti-cannabis campaign has done the pro-cannabis side a favour. Patronising your audience is never going to work, especially when teenagers are involved. It has shown just how out of touch the anti-cannabis side of the fence is on the whole debate of cannabis use and legalisation. The company behind the ad even tried to defend their $500.000 expenditure of tax payer’s money, saying it was specifically targeted at teenagers, and thus will work. Once again, I think they have underestimated the intelligence of their audience. Either way, the videos are great. If it has sparked chord with your humour, maybe give the Marijuana Makes You Violent group a look. They create satirical marijuana content, though it would appear it goes over most people’s heads. Some of the reposts and comments they get from the right-wing, and the people who then make fun of them, are great!