Harlots & drunkards & sluts, oh my!

Ben Lippert

Ben LippertSenior Reporter

A mirror is no longer just for vanity at SDSU. Sioux Falls advertising agency Lawrence and Schiller teamed up with the SDSU ad club to show students a true reflection of the risks of underage drinking.

It is no surprise that underage drinking takes place on the SDSU campus, which is why the S.D. Department of Public Safety commissioned Lawrence and Schiller to design an “in your face” style advertising campaign.

It’s called “guerrilla marketing” because the campaigns are unexpected and unconventional. The goal in this campaign is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept about the dangers of underage drinking which generates talk amongst SDSU students.

“Even though there may be people that are not happy with the concept, some of the best advertising is the ones that cause controversy,” said Advertising Club President Megan Rise. “If it gets people talking, I think it’s successful; and that’s definitely what happened.”

Nathan Morrison, a sophomore economics major, is the community assistant for first floor Pierson Hall. He was not impressed by the mirror clings used in the campaign.

“At first I was insulted by the way it has an abrasive language towards you,” Morrison said. “I was really turned off to it and stopped reading it and walked away.”

Morrison said in his experience, underage drinking is a bigger problem for freshmen than for any other class.

According to the Department of Public Safety, 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse. Their statistics also show 95 percent of violent crimes on college campuses are alcohol-related.

The South Dakota State University Police Department’s crime log for the month of September indicates underage drinking is prevalent early into the semester.

As of Sept. 22 there have been almost 70 underage consumption charges. The majority of these offenses took place in different residence halls on campus. Included in the underage consumption charges are four common nuisance, two false impersonations, one DUI and reckless driving.

Rise said this campaign will help spread awareness of underage drinking.

“Overall, I think the campaign definitely got people talking around campus,” Rise said. “The mirror clings have caused quite a stir, and I think it was a really creative, clever idea.”

An excerpt from the campaign explains that the goal of the mirror clings, posters and body graffiti is not to upset or anger people.

“Many college students feel invincible and have an “it can’t happen to me’ attitude when it comes to the consequences of drinking,” according to the excerpt.

The campaign’s hope is that the hard-hitting visuals and language will educate and make underage drinkers stop, think and make a responsible decision