On Monday, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem unveiled a new anti-meth ad campaign that was intended to highlight the state's massive problem with Breaking Bad's drug of choice. The campaign's motto is "Meth. We're on it." And that's the meme-ish phrase that's set to be plastered on TV ads, billboards, posters, etc.
In a public service announcement for the campaign, Noem stated that meth usage is "growing at an alarming rate" statewide, and that it has touched every community within South Dakota's borders.
The Argus Leader adds that the campaign was spearheaded by a Minneapolis marketing and ad agency called Broadhead Co., and that they've been paid roughly $449,000 for their services thus far in 2019. Further fine print states that Broadhead Co.'s contract is set to expire at the end of May 2020, and that they're not set to be paid more than $1.4 million for their work on the campaign.
If the goal was to get attention for the drug problem of South Dakotans, then it appears to have been a success, as perhaps for the first time ever people on Twitter thought about South Dakota. So much so, in fact, that it was up to No. 2 for U.S. trends. However, as many people who have either died or been caught on camera hurling an epithet have learned, trending is usually a bad thing. Most of the attention on the campaign was of the mocking variety, as if that should be a shock to anybody.
Here's a few samples:
But many people pointed out that ad campaigns are supposed to get people's attention, and that's exactly what South Dakota accomplished.
Governor Noem said that the goal is to educate everyone in the state on the signs of meth addiction, how to combat addiction, and how to recover if addicted. Here she is, pointing out what she views as the campaign's effectiveness in a tweet that got ratioed pretty hard.
The 2020 state budget will also feature $1 million for treatment services, and over $700,000 for school-based prevention programs. Task forces are also set to be implemented, which seems a little less optimistic. Currently 83 percent of the state's court admissions for controlled substances are meth-related.
"It is filling our jails and prisons, clogging our court systems and stretching our drug treatment capacity while destroying people and their families," said Noem.