This simple, direct, colorful, anti-drug ad (featuring what most experts by now have agreed is some kind of “cat-toad hybrid”) was created in 30 or 40 seconds by an unpaid intern for Drug Abuse Reinforcement Education (better known as D.A.R.E.) in 1999, one year after the program was disqualified from receiving federal funding because they “failed to meet federal guidelines that they be both research-based and effective,” according to Wikipedia. The ad was widely appreciated for its minimalism and relatively creative approach; it was disastrous, however, in terms of its actual function. In all but one of the targeted demographics drug use increased drastically—by 36% for pre-K to 2nd grade, 38% for 7th grade to 12th grade, 44% for college students. The only demographic registering a decrease, of an almost negligible 4%, was 3rd grade to 6th grade, perhaps because children of that age group are especially afraid of being shunned or harassed for their appearance.
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