Montana Meth Project
Project Name: Montana Meth Project
Challenge: Methamphetamine addiction
Solution: Prevention campaign centered on edgy ads created with input from teenagers.
When Tom Siebel, a billionaire software developer and part-time Montana resident, learned about the devastating effect methamphetamine addiction was having on the Big Sky state, he decided to invest his own money to fight the drug. Siebel became wealthy from his innovations in software that manages customer relations. Combining his financial resources with his marketing experience, Siebel founded the Montana Meth Project, which publicizes the dangers of methamphetamine use to 12 to 17 year-old kids.
Since 2005, the Montana Meth Project has run an ambitious, aggressive public education campaign making it the largest advertiser in the state. The destructive effect of methamphetamines on users and their communities are described in graphic detail through television ads, radio ads and billboards. The Montana Meth Project did a lot of research about what kinds of advertising reaches young people. From this, they strive to create ads that don't "talk down" to teenagers and present credible information. The project takes the ad campaign into Montana schools to start discussions and get feedback for future ads.
The results of the Meth Project are promising. In Montana, the project has spawned community outreach programs. Recent data from the Montana attorney general's office indicates a decline in methamphetamine use in the state, which some officials attribute to the Meth Project. From the beginning, Siebel saw the Montana Meth Project as a test that, if successful, could be applied to other states. Similar projects are now in the works in the states of Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois and New York.
» See how the program is working in Idaho: NOW: "Unselling" Meth