What’s the best way to steer kids away from drug use? In the age of social media, you might opt for a campaign that’s GIF-able, eye-catching, and replete with hashtags. But Australia’s New South Wales’ government “Stoner Sloth” initiative seems to be an epic misfire.
Indeed, the stars of these PSAs hardly feel like cautionary characters. That’s because the debilitated drug-abusers are presented as sweet, slow-moving sloths. And they’re hilarious.
In a series of videos, the adorable weed-smoking creatures mistake salad for salt, get groggy during standardized testing, and totally space at a party. There’s even a Tumblr that curates the sloths’ best moments. But while the hashtags try to warn against marijuana use with hashtags like #fail and #youreworseonweed, it seems the only fail here is making this campaign’s drug abusing figures so darn adorable. And, well, relatable.
“TFW you realise you shouldn’t have smoked up.”
“When your mate got blazed but isn’t blazing through the exam.”
“Stoned at dinner and the struggle is too real.”
Who hasn’t been there?
There’s even a Facebook page for Stoner Sloth. And judging from the comments, the campaign has been, um, less than effective.
So you’re glad folks are laughing but you want the message to be taken seriously? Got it. Maybe don’t let your writers blaze before putting the finishing touches on their anti-drug content next time.