"Stoner Sloth": Australian Anti-Marijuana Campaign Backfires

Christine Rousselle
Posted: Dec 21, 2015 4:50 PM
"Stoner Sloth": Australian Anti-Marijuana Campaign Backfires

Down under in Australia, a new anti-drug campaign called "Stoner Sloth" has taken the country by storm. The campaign, which portrays people who smoke marijuana as life-sized sloths, has effectively backfired as Australians find the videos to be hilarious and very over-dramatic.

Check them out here:

The top trending Twitter hashtag in Australia on Saturday was #stonersloth, and it was still trending on Monday.

The campaign has inspired a host of online parodies and Stoner Sloth T-shirts are being offered for sale.

NSW Premier Mike Baird, whose own department helped fund the campaign, sent a series of bemused tweets.

"Just saw the #StonerSloth ads. Not sure where NSW Gov's ad guys found Chewbaccas (sic) siblings, but those videos are... Quite something," one read.

Some online comments suggested that sloths were adorable and more likely to make teens want to smoke marijuana, while others suggested that the ads would fail to make an impact with the target audience.

"Really dislike the drug but was a single young person consulted in the making of these stupid ads? Nobody will take #stonersloth seriously," educational equity researcher at Macquarie University Max Walden tweeted.

It's important to be honest when dealing with anti-drug campaigns, or otherwise they'll be mocked and discarded by the target audience. The American program D.A.R.E. learned this the hard way, and has worked to tone down the hyperbolic rhetoric and "preachy" factor so that kids actually respond to it. Stoner Sloth is silly, and a complete waste of funds.