NCADA PSA versus Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl Ads


Here is a great response from Bridgeway Behavioral Health’s CEO, Michael Morrison concerning the NCADA PSA versus Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl Ads this year.

The NCADA St. Louis produced and ran a Public Service Announcement during the Super Bowl yesterday. Before the PSA was even aired, there was a tremendous amount of buzz about a local drug prevention organization having a PSA on the Super Bowl. The ad showed a young man, obviously under the influence of an opiate drug, being discovered by his mother. The young man was lying on his bed with the distinctive blue lips and pale skin of an overdose victim with his distraught mother above him crying and desperately trying to do something.

NCADA PSA versus Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl AdsThese images, while powerful and disturbing in themselves, were not what caused all of the ensuing buzz after the spot was seen. The song that was playing during the entire spot had a light, upbeat, almost nursery rhyme melody. The lyrics to the song, however, tell an all too frequent story of a kid who starts taking prescription pills and ends up overdosed. I have to admit that the melody combined with the lyrics and the dark images did hit me in a strangely emotional way. This, I assume, was the reason for the contrast of the tune and the lyrics in the first place.

The PSA was meant to grab us, shake us up, think, and act. The very fact that so many are talking about the spot tells me that it was a great success. I know that there are a lot of critics of the ad and I think I understand why it affected so many in a negative fashion. However, the purpose was not to make people feel all warm and fuzzy, but to grab our attention and point out the fact that heroin and opioid addiction is happening in such an insidious fashion right upstairs in our children’s bedrooms and we darn sure better start paying attention.

NCADA PSA versus Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl AdsThere was something else about the Super Bowl ads that really disappointed me. I was watching the game with a couple of my recovering friends and we were following the social media commentary concerning the NCADA PSA. All of the passionate discussion about the value of the spot versus the tone of the spot was interesting and good to see. Then we watched the Anheuser-Bush commercials with the cute little puppies and the heroic Clydesdales. We didn’t see one comment on social media about the juxtaposition between cute puppies, beautiful majestic horses, and the drug that has been responsible for more death and destruction in our culture than all of the heroin used in the history of man. I know it is almost blasphemous to say in St. Louis, but one of the biggest purveyors of mood-altering substances in the world resides right here in our home town and we seem to have given up even trying to address this elephant in the living room. Doesn’t seem right to me!

Here is the video if you have not seen it or would like to view it again.

If you know some who is needing help to be freed from heroin/opiate addiction please contact Bridgeway Behavioral Health at 866-758-1152.

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