Why That 12 Keys Anti-Drug Campaign With Babies Was So Awesome

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It's not every day that you see a baby drinking beer or attempting to do lines of cocaine. Do we have your attention yet? Good. It means 12 Keys Rehab's latest ad campaign is working, and you haven't even seen it yet.

There happens to be a long history of babies and young children being used in advertisements; it's a practice that dates back to the 1800's, though it would be quite some time after that until actual photographs of babies became fodder for ad campaigns.

One particularly memorable advertisement from the 1950s featured a baby being served a soft drink - an image that most of us would find reprehensible today, given recent findings that have found similarities in dental damage between soda drinkers and hard drug users.

Is it that much of a stretch, then, that 12 Keys has leveraged babies in their anti-drug campaign? To be sure: unlike that soda ad from decades ago, their message is meant as a deterrent - not as encouragement for the behavior pictured.


They're Just Like Us

The title of the 12 Keys ad campaign is "They Are More Like You Than You Know" - a fitting title, given the fact that it's sometimes hard for us to remember that we all were babies once, and looking at a baby is to look at the future.

Of course, the pictures themselves are mere window dressing for the real message: each photograph is accompanied by an alcohol or drug statistic, some of them as startling as the images themselves. Some examples include: "7 million children under 18 in the U.S. have alcoholic parents" and "If you're addicted to alcohol during pregnancy, they will be too."


He Has Your Eyes (And Habits)

While these advertisements are obviously meant to shock, it's not difficult to remember that there's nothing but good intentions behind the imagery. It's a reminder that nothing parents do happens in a vacuum, which is to say that even our unborn young can potentially experience the impact of our bad decisions for their entire lives.

You're familiar by now with the words "the children are our future," but 12 Keys has reminded us that this truth comes in many forms. Their goal is to shed some light on a trend that still seems to be inexplicably rife with confusion, misconceptions, or simple ignorance.


Investing in the Future

12 Keys is a rehab facility, which means they spend a great deal of their time treating adults for alcohol and substance abuse and addiction. Their mission statement is a great deal broader than that, however; to borrow their own wording, "drugs aren't only an adult problem." They've reminded us that adult decisions don't confine themselves to the adult world.

At the end of the day, these pictures can resonate with us because they remind us of a simple truth: addiction fuels addiction. In a society ruled in part by narcissism, it's refreshing to see our collective awareness growing when it comes to the toll we take on future generations.

This guest post was written by Shane Jones, a content expert who's specialty is with online advertising campaigns. His real passions however, lie in print media. Follow his opinions on Google+ and keep up-to-date on his latest ad projects, The Happiness Theory.


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by Steve Hall    Apr-21-14   Click to Comment   
Topic: Creative Commentary   

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