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With derision shooting down the NSW Government’s Stoner Sloth Ad, we believe that the complete inadequacy of the campaign may be deliberate.
Stoner Sloth. Lel. Before you swipe the yellowed claw of derision at him, know that you may be harming yourself. For the Stoner Sloth is all of us, too slow, deluded and apathetic to truly understand the Government’s latest (and potentially greatest) anti-drug campaign.
#StonerSloth (despite the recent retraction of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre’s support) sees the Government finally crushing the pipe of the aesthetically pleasing, subtextually meritorious anti-drug Campaigns of the past. Example: The distressing (and subsequently relit) ads against Ice:
But honestly, the reason why those campaigns didn’t take root, is because there wasn’t anything to remember. You don’t remember third party shock. You suppress it. It just was an angry bloke who partied too hard. Twice.
But in Stoner Sloth’s complete lack of tangible merit, lays the genius. Stoner Sloth’s greatest weapon is his inadequacy. Not because he can’t pass the salt, no, but because he couldn’t stop kids taking Drugs to save his hide. Stoner Sloth is such a hopelessly poor anti-drug spokesman, he’s almost promoting the lifestyle, so much so, that we suspect it is deliberate.
The bowl of evidence is on the bedside. Be it the spelling errors, the Ad’s dizzying, baseless emotional lows of a Film School production (Speaking from experience) replete with the sad creative-commons guitar track to allow us to feel, or Stoner Sloth personally responding to his detractors via Facebook, it all adds up to genius.
Brass-tacks, now. The campaign, while real, strives for something else.
The whole thing so hypersensationalised, so completely unrelatable or believable on any level, it has the Sloth moping his way down the path of anti-drug immortality. He has already reached his flock. This brilliance evidenced by the almost immediate creation of ironic Stoner Sloth “merch” add that to the initial conversation surrounding the legitimacy of it, The Sloth will live long.
Still not convinced of Stoner Sloth’s impending immortality? There’s a historical precedent.
Those who sit around my Generation remember the “Go to bed, Jessica!” Ad:
In it, the Father, overwrought with his wrongdoing, reminds his eavesdropping daughter that it is past her bedtime by hurling the eponymous barb, before pathetically launching a fruit bowl at a Venetian blind that retreated up the window, escaping Dad’s terribleness.
We (or, at least I) don’t recall what he’d done, but we remember Jessica had to go to bed. So it may be the case for the next generation, in ten years time, they’ll reference the apathetic hopeless “ooooo” of Stoner Sloth, and they’ll laugh, but it may be Stoner Sloth who laughs last.