You Be The Judge! NORML’s SuperBOWL Marijuana Law Reform Ad Contest

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director January 31, 2009

    Sure, tens of millions of Americans will be hunkering down in front of their television sets with friends and family tomorrow to ostensibly watch the Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, but as we all know the day of the Super Bowl is America’s showcase for the most expensive and often creative commercial television advertisements of the year.

    That’s all fine and dandy, but how much cooler is NORML’s first ever SuperBOWL Pro-Marijuana Law Reform Ad Contest? Heh?! Forget the painfully boring and tedious eight hours of Pre-SuperBowl television programming…watch and share all of these great pro-marijuana law reform ads.

    $10,000 in cash prizes and NORML swag is up for grabs for the most creative pro-marijuana law reform ad—and YOU and your friends are the judges to determine this year’s winners.

    Starting in September, NORML launched our third annual ‘NORML Ad Contest’, and after culling through hundreds of submissions, NORML’s staff and members of the board of directors recently narrowed the field to the top #25 videos for consideration in our first-ever online poll that will determine the contest’s winners.obama_graphic_200.gif

    Get This Contest Dug on Digg!
    Please, tell all your like-minded friends, family and co-workers about NORML’s Ad Contest and encourage them to 1) vote once for their top three choices and 2) join NORML!

    Voting online for the winners will last one week and end at midnight (PST), Sunday, February 7, 2009.

    There is a terrific variety of videos, artistic creativity and passion for marijuana law reform represented in these top #25 contest submissions, and I want to personally thank the hundreds of NORML supporters who submitted videos and flash animations into NORML’s ad contest for consideration.

    Advice for watching and judging NORML Ad Contest Videos: Mindful that you can vote one time and only choose your top three picks for winners, my recommendations are to watch the videos a number of times this week—possibly in different states of consciousness—and then hone in on your top three video choices for NORML’s best pro-marijuana reform ads. Also, for maximum viewing pleasure, when watching YouTube-based videos, it is best that the video first load entirely before viewing is initiated.

    Like last year’s winning ad, and because of the generous financial support of NORML’s members, this year’s winning ad(s) will air in selected, local television markets in the United States, including President Obama’s new neighborhood here at the end of 16th Street, in the northwest section of Washington, D.C.*

    Thanks again to this year’s contestants for standing up for what is right and for the many online voters who’ll pick this year’s winning pro-marijuana ad contest video or flash animation.

    *Subject to local cable providers accepting NORML’s advocacy ads

    21 responses to “You Be The Judge! NORML’s SuperBOWL Marijuana Law Reform Ad Contest”

    1. Gustavo says:

      So NORML will air an ad during the Super Bowl? Or are these ads for local airing only?

    2. Kat Starwolf says:

      In regard to the NORML.org ad, in order to get the attention of not only President Obama, but those of the American public (and possibly other countries) who are still anti-marijuana, we need to focus on its benefits FIRST.

      Such as multiple studies which show:

      • Its medical benefits, as with Multiple Schlerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, glaucoma, alleviating nausea from chemotherapy, etc.
      • That it is NOT addictive, nor does it cause anything worse than possibly short term respiratory restrictions
      • That it causes far fewer problems – both medical and legal – than does alcohol
      • That unlike alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is NOT a contributory factor in the numerous deaths that have been attributed to the former
      • Used to assist in the alleviation of withdrawal symptoms of narcotics, in particular
      • That hemp products have far more beneficial uses than any other cash crops combined
      • That there have been 20 million arrests since 1965 which have unnecessarily cost billions of taxpayer dollars that could have been spent on disease cures or any number of other more profitable causes

      Additionally, the ad should show a wide variety of individuals who smoke or otherwise utilize marijuana, such as:

      • The elderly
      • The disabled (especially those in wheelchairs; focus mainly on the VISIBLY disabled)
      • Older teenagers over 18, especially college students
      • Professional and working class Men
      • Professional and working class Women
      • Athletes, celebrities, etc.
      • Various races (for instance an older white woman and a middle aged Hispanic, Asian or black man)

      Finally, as with one of Bobby McGee’s videos, have them articulate WHY they smoke or otherwise partake:

      • Medical reasons (should be first), such as pain relief, as an anti-emetic
      • To unwind or de-stress
      • To socialize
      • To have fun

      Most people are intelligent enough to see reason and are compassionate and empathetic. Give them legitimate reasons for WHY legalizing marijuana is a good idea, and they’re more likely to listen.

    3. Hello Gustavo,

      >So NORML will air an ad during the Super Bowl? Or are >these ads for local airing only?

      Unfortunately, no. Some of the winning ads (which will be announced next week after the online voting concludes) will be played on purchased TV air time in selected local cable markets in the US.

      At a minimum for $3.5 million for a 30 second ad (to say nothing of production costs for an actual Super Bowl quality commercial), I’m not sure NORML, or any drug policy reform group/ACLU, are ever going to be able to afford to advertise a TV spot during the Super Bowl.

    4. Gustavo says:

      Thanks for the clarification Allen. 🙂

    5. Mark says:

      There is a new article out on “Slate” about drinking booze in the white house. It is very disturbing and should be read by all of you. It does not bode well for us.


    6. David says:

      We just really need to somehow get to the point where these commercials are in everybody’s face, whether it be prime time or on the internet. I don’t know exactly how to go about doing that, but it seems like it’s the final stand in the war against prohibition. You can’t ignore something that everybody’s watching at once. NORML should campaign for donations for this cause, if they haven’t already. I’m only now starting to get involved, but I’d love to help out any way that I can.

      Oh and these commercials are GREAT, btw! I’m already having a hard time deciding my favorites. Very impressed so far with what I’ve seen! 🙂

    7. David Brinley says:

      while we now know there is a growing problem with both the sickness and death caused by ciggeretes and the arrests caused by marijuana, changeing one problem and solving another we could turn ciggerete factories into a place for tree and stop the distribution of ciggerettes and start the legal sales (governmently controled) of marijuana.

      stop cigerettes and start hemp
      save lives and make money

    8. The Oracle says:

      Ask him in the Super Bowl interview about helping his brother and the rest of the world out by recommending legalization, or at least the the world organization and treaty restrictions preventing countries who want to legalize from legalizing should be changed, in U.S. low fines only and no identification required to be shown to authorities!

    9. NewOldSalt says:

      While I am seriously bummed my entry was not chosen. I definitely think y’all deserve a pat on the back for the timing, and pun of SuperBOWL.

      Should I admit it, or not, that I have no interest in watching it? My issue is PBS is not showing Sherlock Holmes tonight!

    10. RevRayGreen says:


      G Obama, Michael Phelps 8 Gold medals and a bong, Santonio Holmes Super Bowl MVP, busted for marijuana, 1 game suspension last year.