This Australian Government National Drugs Campaign ad has a clear message: Smoking marijuana wastes potential. The additional text of the ad reads, “all those years of training can soon be wiped out by the lifestyle associated with marijuana smoking. And the damage to your lungs won’t help either.”
The ad features the visual of a burnt-out-looking swimmer sitting on the side of a pool alone – his reflection is an athletic swimmer celebrating in front of a cheering crowd.
Because swimming is such a popular sport in Australia, relating to adolescents through this sport seems like a good marketing technique. However, the online social media community is quick to draw a parallel between the anti-marijuana swimmer ad and Michael Phelps’ Bong-Gate, possibly the most infamous marijuana story in sports history.
The unintended irony is not lost to the over 500 Digg users who boosted the image from a totalprosports.com post. However, although the image is regarded as humorous by some, in the end it is only increasing the exposure of the anti-drug campaign – after all that’s how I found it!