Yet Again, St. Louis Is Forced to Endure the Year’s Most Distressing Super Bowl Ad

No seriously, don't do heroin

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Poor St. Louis. Every year they sit there on Sunday Bowl Sunday quietly trying to enjoy their constipation and irritable bowel ads, only to be subjected to something truly bleak—PSAs about how heroin can utterly destroy your life.

It happened again Sunday, as the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse—based in the St. Louis area—made its second straight regional Super Bowl buy to address the dangers of the drug with some quite upsetting creative.

The spot, from agency Schupp Consulting, stars local actress Tori Giessing as a high-school cheerleader who spirals into heroin addiction, losing her family, her friends and her self-respect along the way. Kudos to the creative team for including a dog in the plot, too—normally a harbinger of joy in a Super Bowl ad, but here quite the opposite. 

The NCADA says on its YouTube page that its second anti-heroin PSA—following last year's "That's How" spot—"aims to ignite and elevate the conversation about the realities and catastrophic consequences of opioid and heroin use in our community. Join the conversation on Instagram with #heroin."

Mark Schupp, the creative director on the campaign, tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that last year's ad was "a crazy success. … We had more than a half a million views last year on YouTube and the amount of comments we received was overwhelming."

The new spot's view count is already over 150,000—so St. Louisians can probably expect these ads to stay in future years. 

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.