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Above the Influence campaign misses the target audience

I'm all for keeping kids off drugs. Everyone should be. Kids like to experiment and try new things, but a heroin or cocaine habit isn't really something that anyone should experiment with. Ostensibly, the various campaigns to steer kids away from drugs, cigarettes and alcohol are well meaning, but sometimes poorly placed.

Above the Influence ad

If you're going to tell kids what to do, you have to meet them on their level - be cool. Running ads in skateboard magazines makes a lot of sense as long as the ad fits the genre. Take this ad that ran in the February 2007 Transworld Sk8. I found it extremely annoying that their answer to smoking pot is playing football - IN A SKATEBOARD MAG! No skater is going to see this and get the right message.


Skaters aren't stupid, but is suggesting football really the right way to connect with them? I'd rather smoke pot than play football. Skating on the other hand... a much better option to suggest in a sk8 mag. Thats like suggesting water-polo or croquette. Skaters skate (this is different from ice skating - for all you moronic advertising/marketing executives).

Would it be so difficult to create variations of this ad suited for different demographics?

Things skaters like and dislike

Advertising/marketing executives who feel challenged to understand and connect with the sub-culture of skateboarding may find this list helpful in determining the things skaters like.


Our revised advertisement

We're not out to change the world (as long as EVERYONE skates), but here's our improvement to this ad.

Above the Influence ad

You can lead a horse to water, but he still won't pick you up at the airport. Advertising and marketing wonks need to understand their audience and adapt to them in order to reach them. Don't expect those reading a sk8 mag, to find a sudden interest in football!

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