Is the University of New England targeting potheads in their latest TV campaign?

Today I noticed the new University of New England TV commercial for its Distance Education program.

Nice ad, good insight, well produced.

Only problem is, the music used in the ad is “Little Boxes”, famously known as the intro music for the award-winning Showtime series “Weeds”, a black comedy that revolves around a mother who turns to selling marijuana to support her family after her husband unexpectedly dies.

Weeds Logo

Check it out for yourself

Now I understand that the lyrics for the song fit really well with a distance education university, but when the show Weeds has been such a hit in UNE’s target demographic (young adults) it is a pretty large risk to run.

There could be a few reasons for this coincidence

  1. UNE are subtly targeting the lucrative pothead student market…unlikely
  2. The UNE Marketing Manager and/or agency didn’t research earlier uses of the song …bit lazy as Weeds has run for 6 seasons now.
  3. They thought no-one would notice…a bad move in the social media age

Either way, I’m sure that their course in Integrated Weed Management will be getting a HIGH enrollment rate.


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Categories: Advertising, Marketing Strategy

Author:Chris Maloney

Chris is a multi-channel marketing strategist and one of Australia's most awarded young marketers.


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