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DON’T Be a Patsy

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 at 12:29 pm in Health & Safety, Teens.

Hmm, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America is trying a new approach with YouTube videos starring Patsy, an inept but well-intentioned mom who pats down her children, employs a drug-sniffing dog and tries to hide the family’s pharmaceuticals. The anti-drug crusaders are hoping the videos, which they seem to think are absolutely hilarious, go viral. We’re not so sure. Here, take a look, then tell us what you think.

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No Responses to “DON’T Be a Patsy”

  1. Janet Walker Says:

    I think people will be confused about this approach. Straightforward is still the best way. We need to get rid of the depiction of drug involvement presented in TV and movies, this implies acceptance or inevitability, whereas we should be assuming the opposite. People get an enormous amount of attention just for being bold enough to tackle a drug habit. Heath Ledger, for one, is talked up as a posthumous Oscar nominee. Young people who talk about living clean are ridiculed and are often objects of derision. This is not a religious perspective, please note – just a practical view – why would anyone need drugs for any reason other than medical necessity. Hope that doesn’t seem incredibly naive, but my father was an alcoholic with a wife in complete denial – not the best place for a child to grow and thrive. So I am certainly motivated to find the best in life without any substance assistance. Life’s a great place to be, and I don’t want any of it clouded over by having my consciousness impaired.

  2. Patsy Jordan Says:

    These ads are far from humorus if your name is actually Patsy. I feel like I’m being personally made fun of everytime I have to see one.

  3. Teresa Says:

    This kind of campaign needs to be well done in order to be effective. This lame attempt is clearly not goign to be effective.

  4. Patsy B Says:

    I really like these commercials! I think the humor is effective. And since my name is Patsy, I like them that much more!

  5. Carmen Says:

    These are great ads–humorous and compassionate. They also lead parents to seek help at

  6. noone007 Says:

    saw the ad with patsy and the drug sniffing dog. too bad they didn’t allow “patsy” to introduce herself by name at the beginning… because the punchline is obviously lost unless you know the small series of “patsy” commercials.

    also, the dog commercial didn’t make much sense to me. is this just a store bought german shepherd that is supposed to scare the kid straight, but the kid knows and is bring dope right into the house? if it is actually a drug sniffing dog, is it supposed to be a “gestapo routine” instead? if so, it’s not really humorous in that context (her saying “tough love” doesn’t make it any funnier either).

    anyway, if my take on the commercial is off on either account, i sure as heck feel dense. did anyone besides me not get this? or, better yet, did anyone actually GET IT? (of course i realize humor is subjective, but all jokes have a specific target & punchline in mind… so what’s up with this dog commercial?!)

  7. kevin Says:

    Ya i got this, i get that the Anti-Drug council doesnt understand teenagers, i get that they dont have respect for midwestern mothers, i get that they are wasting money on TV ads when they could be using that money to help people with addictions. This is terrible and makes me want to smoke marijuana every time i see it. When i see the pill bottle commercial, i get the urge to take Xanax. Counter-productive and offensive… right in line with their previous campaigns. FAIL

  8. Joseph Alois Ratzinger Says:

    Hill Holiday, in concurrence with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, looks to be taking a more jocular stance on the parent’s war against narcotics, marijuana and all those goodies in between. So on the one hand you’re banking on comedy as an effective instrument of communication, or more importantly a powerful tool of “relatability” and “realism”. Then you’ve got the possibility of a backfire, the chance that this campaign in actuality will enrage audiences, some of which having experienced drug related encounters. And that my Hill Holiday friends like a breakneck boomerang is exactly how it goes because for those traumatized, that’s about as real and relatable as it gets.
    Aside from poor execution, such as the part of Patsy being played by famed ‘YouTuber’ Pam Cook of videos like ‘Shoes’ and other abysmal ‘Kelley’ productions, the campaign actually serves to confuse rather than teach. In fact the only way to squeeze out any sliver of educational value is to refer to the website at the end of the ad. Kevin you are dead on buddy; the little comedy sketch and caricature certainly does compromise the effectiveness. Some people are led astray so much so that they interpret the methods in the ad literally. And Patsies you should be discontented, not by the use of your name, but by the fact that this commercial dulls the significance and magnitude of the issue in lieu of pursuing a poor joke. At best it’d be labeled decent, yet still incomparable when put on the scale with the commanding Above the influence campaign or the ineffably profound ‘egg on the frying pan’. Maybe it’s not Hill Holiday, whose works I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy and admire, but instead the man behind the concept and carrying out: the notorious Executive Creative Director Alon Shoval. I say famous, because it is this man who continually mismanages ideas and muffs up their executions. Driven by the breadth of his wallet rather than the depth of a nonexistent heart, Alon serves only to bring down the creative crown that a company of such caliber should have around its head. Watch a child of fourteen overdose on typical cabinet pills and then stand by your idea of Patsy peeking in on her son in the shower.
    (Edited for name calling; last two lines removed by moderator 4/8/09.)

  9. Patsy McFarland Says:

    This commercial is racist! Did you know that “Patsy” was a deragatory name for the Irish in the early days? Would you use deragatory nicknames for other races such as hispanic or african-american people? NO! I have cringed all my life each time I hear this name used as a synonym for “stupid”. I am incensed in this day and age that such an offensive commercial is running. Think about it.

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