South Dakota spends $449,000 on ad campaign which suggests people from the state are ‘on’ meth

Health, Fitness & Food

An image from a South Dakota Meth Prevention video.

Source: South Dakota Meth Prevention

A new anti-meth campaign in South Dakota has prompted a bit of head-scratching. But the state’s governor said this big reaction is exactly what the push was aiming for.

The campaign, announced Monday by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and first reported by the Sioux Falls daily newspaper the Argus Leader, includes posters of what purport to be people from South Dakota with the message “Meth. We’re on it.” The push will also include TV commercials, radio ads, billboards, social media and a website (called “Onmeth.com”) with resources.

In a video public service announcement posted to YouTube, Noem, a Republican, introduces the campaign. “This is our problem, and together we need to get on it.”

In an emailed statement sent to CNBC, Noem elaborated on the goals of the campaign.

“South Dakota’s anti-meth campaign launch is sparking conversations around the state and the country,” she said. “The mission of the campaign is to raise awareness — to get people talking about how they can be part of the solution and not just the problem. It is working.”

According to the Argus Leader report and as shown by state of South Dakota public records, the state has paid Broadhead, a Minneapolis-based ad agency, $448,914. Broadhead entered into an agreement from September until May 2020 for “an effective South Dakota specific media campaign that increases awareness of methamphetamine use and promotes resources for prevention, treatment and recovery,” according to a consulting contract between Broadhead and the state of South Dakota. The document says the total contract amount would not exceed $1,375,000.

In one video spot shared on YouTube on Monday, people from an elderly man to young men and women share the message “I’m on meth.”

“Meth is not someone else’s problem, it’s everyone in South Dakota’s problem, and we need everyone to get on it,” a narrator says in the video.

While some poked fun at the campaign for showing those who appeared to be claiming they were using the drug, others said it was a clever double play on words that got people intrigued.

Broadhead didn’t immediately provide a comment on the feedback to the campaign.

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