Fletcher Martin Hits Home in Anti-Drug Messages

The boy emulates his big brother’s every move, gesture and behavior–on the basketball court, at a picnic table, in front of the mirror.
The image, two lives bound by adulation and trust, is familiar; the message, captured in the eyes of both siblings as the older brother reaches for a joint, is driven home in a voice-over: “Some kids think smoking weed makes you cool. What about those who already think you already are?”
The television spot, part of Atlanta-based Fletcher Martin Ewing’s national campaign for the Partnership for a Drug-FreeAmerica, targets kids on the fence: tempted, but torn by responsibility to those who care about them.
A second spot, “Mother/Daughter,” also directed by Rene Eram in Los Angeles, builds on the fragile ties that bind an inner city family.
“Once teens start using drugs, it’s very difficult to wean them with messages,” said FME creative director Gus Pitsikoulis, the driving force behind the effort, which includes the two 30- second spots and print work.
Pitsikoulis, who has done pro bono work for the partnership over the last six years, said the “Two Brothers” idea came to him watching his own children at play. “If the 5-year-old jumped off the kitchen table, so did the 3-year-old.” The strategy is supported by research which shows that kids are powerfully affected by what parents and siblings think of them.
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America is a private, nonprofit communications industry coalition that has generated more than 600 ads and approximately $3 billion in media exposure. The high-profile group now operates in conjunction with the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Participating agencies, which work pro bono, are chosen in reviews conducted by the group’s creative review committee.
Separately, FME announced two account wins last week: a $2-5 million assignment for software
specialist ePanacea in Atlanta and a $1.5 million multimedia push for Cellullar South, a wireless service provider in Jackson, Miss.