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The Meth Project: Advertising to scare people from using for the first time June 6, 2009

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A recent article from CNN took an interesting look at the advertising campaign for The Meth Project, a group trying to dissuade people from trying crystal meth for the first time. The nonprofit organization admits that its strategy is to scare people away from the drug by relying on grizzly images. The campaign has been successful in Montana, once the crystal meth capitol of the United States, and is now spreading to many other states. While some people contend the ads are effective, however, others think they go too far and are unrealistic.

For examples of The Meth Project’s advertising, see the commercials below:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Aside from potential first time users in general, what do you think is the targeted demographic for this campaign?

2.  What is the potential problem with fear appeals in advertising?  Why might these ads not work?

3.  On the flip side, why might fear appeals be perfect for the targeted audience?

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