This is your Brain on Drugs

View the 1980s public service announcement “This is Your Brain on Drugs”. Explain why you feel this advertising campaign was or was not effective. For follow-up discussion, respond to at least two of your peers explaining whether or not you agree or disagree and why.


In my opinion, “This is Your Brain on Drugs” was an effective advertising campaign. I believe it was effective for several reasons. I clearly remember this campaign. It was quick, to the point, and effective. If I used drugs, it was like frying my brain like a fried egg. The impact of that fried egg was like a quick punch! Bam! Wow! I do not think there is really a way to gauge the effectiveness and gauge how many people chose not to do drugs because of the campaign. However, because I have such a vivid memory of the campaign, it makes me think that it was effective. I am sure that I am not the only one that remembers that campaign. I can not think of another anti-drug campaign off the top of my head. 


I agree that to determine the effectiveness would be difficult-no matter how they portrayed the commercial and I cannot see how it would deter or prevent anyone. I also cannot see it as helping or benefiting anyone whose already on their drug of choice. If anything, I think a person who just comes into the room would assume it was a commercial for McDonalds. I do think that, to be effective, one does not have to have an overly dramatized commercial, however, some thought has to be taken into consideration. Drug-use is not combined to one race, gender, or group in any form, so the idea for the commercial to be made for a wide audience has to be a significant factor. I know one thing that did deter me from using drugs was a poster of a Meth-user which showed the effects on the body detailing what was damaged and changed by the drug, as well as the effects on the skin. It was, in my eyes, so vile that I never wanted to try that drug-even today, I can still picture it-and all it was, was a poster. Something I glanceed at in a classroom back in high school for a couple of mere seconds which I took to read it. In that sense, if a poster can be made that detailed and memorable, then a commercial ought to be achievable. 


I think you make a valid point on the brain frying. You also are right that the campaign was etched in our minds. It is memorable for it was one of the first of its kind. Just that fact that we all remember means the message is in our brains. If I were to say what company has a big M that looks like arches, you would all know the answer. This is called branding and the image is etched into our minds. A good PSA will do the same thing. What might be a good way to “Etch” into the minds of the youth today?