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February 2004
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ONDCP Superbowl Ad

Here’s a sneak peek of “Rewind.” (RealAudio streaming file)
A picture named rewind.jpg
[Backwards running scenes of girl passed out, throwing up in toilet, drinking, smoking pot, buying pot, starting the day]

Narrator (girl): “Life doesn’t rewind. So if your child is drinking and smoking pot, stop them, while you still can.”

[Mother holding baggie as daughter is ready to leave for the day]

Mother: “Jessica. We need to talk.”


First Reaction: I’m actually surprised at the fact that this may be a somewhat reasoned approach to an ONDCP ad for the first time. This doesn’t make it proper to spend tax money doing it on the Superbowl, in my mind. However, at least this ad is not one of those ridiculous “pot=terrorism” or “smoke pot and you’ll kill your little brother” ads that have been typical of the ONDCP.
What I like about this ad is the inclusion of alcohol (BIG move there) and the results of the misadventure being the sort of yucky drank-too-much, smoked-too-much reality of partying that can all too often be part of teenagers’ lives.
I need to watch it some more (and perhaps catch some detail that I’m missing on the postage-stamped RealVideo file that I found), but at this point it seems to me that the over-riding message of the ad is that parents should talk with their kids, that young kids shouldn’t be using alcohol and drugs, and that people need to learn to use alcohol and drugs responsibly. Sounds OK to me.
Update: I think I just saw the other new one during Superbowl trophy ceremony. Perhaps someone can verify this? Caught the end of it, but it was a girl standing on a pier indecisively while her friend is splashing/drowning in the water and the voice over says something like “If you friend was in trouble you’d help them, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?”
Disgusting. That’s the same old ONDCP that we’re used to seeing.

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