2) Rachel Leigh Cook Breaks ShitThere's a school of thought within the genre of anti-drug PSAs that if they just act really, really angry at you, you'll somehow be less likely to use drugs. This ad represents the pinnacle of that approach (and also, with apologies to She' All That fans, the pinnacle of Rachel Leigh Cook's career). Beginning with the iconic this-is-your-brain-on-drugs egg, Ms. Cook informs you that this is what happens when you snort heroin and smashes the egg with a frying pan. She then rails against the furniture in this once-pristine kitchen, which by the end is very much in need of "getting clean."
Unintended Consequence: Not that we're big on the H scene, but isn't snorting like the fifth most popular way of taking heroin? Isn't an anti-heroin snorting ad a little like the DUI commercials focusing on Zima related DUIs? After Pulp Fiction already taught us that snorting heroin would put you in a coma and that shooting up made you win dance contests, shouldn't this commercial have come out a little stronger against heroin across the board, and not just the least popular of the many ways of taking it?
At least they appear to have learned a lesson from beer commercials-the surest way of getting guys to think a product isn't cool is by getting a tightly clothed actress with a great rack to jump around in your commercial. Oh, wait"
1) Shallow EndAnother one of the strategies for keeping kids clean is to threaten them with nightmare scenarios that have nothing to do with drugs, and then imply that there is some sort of causal connection between the scenario and drug use. This method is especially popular in the latest wave of anti-marijuana ads in which teenage girls somehow become pregnant from smoking a joint. However the strategy got its start with this classic, in which some girl whose high enough to be wearing a one piece bathing suit at the public pool, dives head-first off a high-dive followed by the bone chilling reveal that-gasp-the pool is empty. This was actually their second option for scaring kids away from drugs, but the first idea of going door to door, engaging kids in conversations about drugs and then having someone run up from behind and scream BOO, proved too expensive.
Unintended Consequence: Actually this ad had a profound affect on us. We remember being extra careful to double- and triple-check that there was water in the pool before jumping off the diving board. Especially when we were stoned.