"Above the Influence" breaks back to school campaign by McKinney - McKinney

“Above the Influence” breaks back to school campaign by McKinney

October 22, 2008

It could be said that McKinney’s new effort, created in collaboration with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America for the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s media campaign, “Above the Influence”, could not debut at a more important time of year. According to the 20th annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), while teen marijuana use remains in decline, and teen social disapproval of the drug is at its highest since 1997, the number one reason teens report for drug use is coping with school stress. And the most prevalent drug of abuse among teens? Marijuana. Conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, PATS research also shows that anti-drug ads play a key role in keeping teens aware of the risks and discouraging trial.

“Back to school is increasingly stressful for today’s teens,” said the Partnership for Drug-Free America’s Associate Director of Creative Development Caryn Pace. “Academic and social pressures, along with a desire to fit in and be cool can drive teens to cope with these stresses in unhealthy ways. We’re grateful for the support of partners like McKinney to help continue our “Above the Influence” campaign, which sends powerful messages reminding teens to stay connected with what’s important – family, friends and how they feel about themselves.”

The fully integrated campaign will first launch with the print component in November publications, including Transworld Snowboarding, ESPN, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, J-14, CosmoGIRL, Seventeen, Official Xbox and Playstation.


Written in highly exaggerated “stoner” style, three print ads recruit teens for jobs as TV remote control operators, couch security guards and burrito tasters. With bold headlines and intentionally “over the top” copy, the ads offer bogus careers that require “no experience or a fancy college degree.” “Can you handle the excitement?” says one ad. “Cheese curls, leprechauns and sitting on a cushion for a long, long time? Then maybe you have what it takes to become a couch security guard. Get the facts and start sitting now.” “Channels don’t change themselves,” says the ad for the TV remote control operator. “College can take four long years…yuck! No talent needed.” And according to the ad for burrito taster, “You can earn a jillion buckaroos! College degrees don’t come with Buckaroos!” and “you can earn a free diploma and a year’s supply of napkins. Recruits are encouraged to log on to fake web sites such as www.burritotastemaster.com where they immediately link to www.abovetheinfluence.com. “Hey, not trying to be your mom, but there aren’t many jobs out there for potheads,” reads the copy at the bottom of each ad.

An additional print campaign, “Animals,” will also begin appearing in the same November publications. The ads feature animals dressed like teens engaging in life threatening behaviors. Sitting at a kitchen table, one slug has poured himself a lethal dose of salt and offers his friend the same. A second ad features two wasps. “What’s the worst that could happen?” reads the copy in both ads followed by the Above the Influence logos and URL. The campaign’s other components, including television, radio, online, and cinema ads will launch first quarter 2009.

To view the Occupations print, click below:

http://www.vocus.com/images/pr/mckinney_Couch Security Guard.jpghttp://www.vocus.com/images/pr/mckinney_Remote Control Operator.jpg http://www.vocus.com/images/pr/mckinney_Burrito Taste Tester.jpg