“We all remember that terrifying “This is your brain on drugs” ad from our youth, in which Rachael Leigh Cook destroys a perfectly good kitchen just to prove a point. Now the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the organization behind that nineties commercial, is back with a new campaign—albeit a much more convoluted slogan. Hoping to target teens directly, its new ads are entirely made up of emoji. The character-filled messages that will be in print, online, and on billboards in Times Square spell out empathetic messages for teens who might be suffering from peer pressure. But for those who aren’t fluent in emoji, the resulting ads can be quite confounding. The one above, for example, spells out “I wish likes weren’t so important,” while the one below might be even trickier to decipher


Aside from trying to speak to young adults in their language, or “today’s teen slang,” the entire campaign is available solely through a mobile site, which features easily sharable GIFs and a space to create user-customized emoji sentences. For those still dumbstruck, you’re not alone, we’re equally lost. (The answer to the second ad is “Being popular isn’t everything.”)” VOGUE

BY | M A R I E J O L I E