Research 19/021
Branding Terror: A Brief Look Into How the Drug Trade Markets Its Wares

As one of the most important aspects of any product, the proper use of branding guarantees authenticity, recognizability, and helps it being understood.If you felt comfortable after the first purchase, a well-branded good will reel you back in with little hesitation. However, beyond the worlds of fashion, nutrition, automobiles, electronics, and many other, comparatively legal, wares, the global drug trade has made full use of today’s most recognizable brand logos to market its products. From UPS and Red Bull, to Mitsubishi and even Donald Trump, branding has framed illicit substances such as ecstasy and LSD as something authentic, recognizable, and understandable.

Scroll down down below to check out some of your favorite brand logos immortalized in the form of ecstasy pills.

Throughout much of the 21st century, newspapers around the world have been filled with news of mystical pills characterized by explicit branding. With the tragedy and fear that frames such stories only serving to push illicit substances closer to the forefront of popular discussion, their use of popular brand logos is a vital part of the puzzle.With pills such Black Panthers, 007s, and Mitsubishis dating as far back as the ’80s and ’90s, the phenomenon has maintained its infamy, with the same set of recognizable “brands” being using by manufacturers all over the world.

With such pills often bearing the logos that are easiest to manufacture, the use of technology brands have become particularly popular. Given how recognizable such brands are on a global scale, their application only promises a dealer’s wares are consumed more easily. Such companies also present a new way of living, far departed from the fuddy-duddy ideals of yesterday. Nowadays, younger generations dream of working at Google or Instagram, only boosting exstasy’s lure as something “cool” and “good”.

What does this mean for drug users, though? Well, not a lot; even if the pills of today are more recognizable — and better aligned with personal goals — there is no certainty that the WhatsApp pill you are buying today comes from the same guy as last week. And while such knowledge would normally cause concern, people continue to consume that which is familiar to them.

But, even if you can’t be sure about the originality of a specific pill, it still makes taking it safer than before; take, for example, the case of the infamous “Tesla” pill, which started circulating around 2015, growing to become one of the most popular pills on the market just one year later. Last year, however, police departments around the world issued warnings for glow-in-the-dark “Tesla” pills that contained double the amount of MDMA, urging users to consume them with caution.

Nowadays, it’s hard to say if branded pills will continue as they are, or if they will change to determine the drug manufacturer or origin. There is of course speculation that such unification will make the consumption of pills safer, but given the illegal nature of the business, this could be nothing but a far-flung dream.

One Block Down does not condone the use of illegal substances, or the abuse of legal ones.The content of this article is purely for the purposes of education and should not be used in any way, shape, or form, to participate in anything mildly illegal.