‘Stoner Sloth’: Australia Uses Sloth Mascot To Encourage Kids To Stop Smoking Weed

Australia’s unique methods of garnering the attention of the nation’s youngsters and warn against the dangers of using drugs and over consumption of alcohol have had a tendency to travel across the world as well. Australia’s newest campaign featuring Stoner Sloth is no different, warning kids of not only the dangers of consuming marijuana, but also the debilitating effects smoking weed can have on an individual’s ability to learn and communicate with friends and family.

Stoner Sloth is the brainchild of Australian authorities, but the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre has distanced itself from the campaign, according to The Guardian, claiming they only provide analysis and data from previous anti-drug campaigns.

“In this case, those general recommendations were things like being aware that teenagers are intelligent and have access to a lot of information, so campaign approaches should respect them and give them credit by avoiding hyperbole…”

Although the Stoner Sloth campaign does well in showing how marijuana usage can slow down an individual’s response time and hinder the ability for the brain to hold on to learned information, the cute and cuddly appearance of Stoner Sloth has made him and her a rather likable mascot, according to Metro.

Stoner Sloth
[Photo Via: StonerSloth.Au]

Stoner Sloth is not a single person, but rather a generic name used for each person, male and female, that the sloth portrays to link it to a range of people and personalities, rather than simply associating the caricature with one personality or behavior.

The premise refers to a sloth’s slow and lazy movements, using them to show how much smoking weed can impact even minute abilities to move, communicate, and learn. The slogan for the campaign is “You’re Worse of Weed,” which represents that sloths may not be good at everything, but they are much worse under the influence.

The dedicated website, StonerSloth.com.au, has multiple gifs on the site with quirky captions, such as “Stoned at dinner and the struggle is too real,” “When you realize you should have hit the books and not the bong,” and “When your mate turns into ‘that guy’ at the party,” to name a few.

“When your mate got blazed but isn’t blazing through the exam.”

Although the campaign sends an important message to Australia’s youth, there is a fatal flaw in the campaign’s existence, it seems to share the same web address as an online cannabis store, if you leave off the “.AU” from the website domain. The tagline of the cannabis store seems to have a message that is exactly the opposite of the Stoner Sloth campaign.

“Enjoy every smoking experience.”

According to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, in Australia, was never intended to be a shock add, nor was it supposed to be completely negative in substance. Instead, it was meant to bring awareness to the serious issue of marijuana use and encourage the youth to say no to smoking weed before it becomes a habit and an addiction.

“The stoner sloth public awareness campaign has been designed to encourage positive behaviours in young people before bad habits start, and motivate discontinued use of cannabis before they become dependent…”

Unfortunately, many viewers of the Stoner Sloth campaign advertisements have shared that the Australian government may not have realized that many youngsters have adored and worshiped sloths for quite some time.

“I think the people who made #stonersloth vastly underestimate the public’s hero-worship of sloths.”

Others have openly stated that the Stoner Sloth campaign was a failure from the moment they chose to use a sloth in the advertisements; however, they would love to see the character turned into a series, which would become an instant hit.

“Yo Aussie government, #stonersloth failed as an anti drug campaign but I bet you could make your money back tenfold if you create a series”

What are your thoughts on the campaign?

[Photo via StonerSloth]