Saatchi & Saatchi Defends Its Much-Ridiculed ‘Stoner Sloth’ Anti-Marijuana Ads

Agency says it welcomes the global attention

Amid the chorus of derision aimed at Australia's "Stoner Sloth" anti-marijuana ads, one group still wholeheartedly believes in the campaign—the agency behind it, Saatchi & Saatchi.

"The videos have truly gone viral," a Saatchi rep tells the Sydney Morning Herald, adding: "The unexpected global media attention is now providing a platform for parents and teenagers all over the world to have 'the conversation' about cannabis in an engaging way."

The rep also implied that adults who are mocking the campaign probably just don't get it.

"The videos we created were designed as part of a preventative campaign specifically for teens; the audience is not for adults or long-term cannabis users," the rep says. "Two different creative approaches were pre-tested by independent researchers among the teenage target audience, which verified the potential efficacy for this campaign."

Meanwhile, media agency UM, which handled media buying, strategy and social media, is interpreting the "strong viewership and engagement" as a success.

"While it's early days, our research shows the majority of negative comments are not from our target audience, which is teenagers," a UM rep says.

Saatchi also revealed that $500,000 was spent on the campaign, and said it generated "significant return on investment and involvement" for the New South Wales government. 

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