The "Be Under Your Own Influence" campaign, which focused on mostly print materials, was studied by using four different setups. Students were directly exposed to the campaign in the classroom, exposed through media in the local community or exposed to both or neither. The team found teens who reported exposure to the "Be Under Your Own Influence" also reported the lowest marijuana use the most when community involvement was added to the picture.
On the other hand, they found the "Above the Influence" national campaign could reduce an early teen's chance of trying the drug simply through exposure. Click here to watch the organization's current ads.
"We also asked about fake campaigns to rule out fakers," Slater added. This way, students who reported to have been exposed to non-existent ads and made-up drugs were ruled out from the sample.
Though the findings point to the success of anti-drug ads, Slater isn't afraid to point out the research's weaknesses.
"When you don't have the control of experimental design," he said, "there's always the possibility of alternative explanations."