As Canada prepares for federal marijuana legalization next summer, public service advertisements are being produced to warn citizens of one of the biggest concerns of the bold new national policy: Driving while high.
In an effort to address the issue, auto safety group R.I.D.E. Checks is launching an effective ad campaign with agency BBDO Toronto.
“Unlike driving drunk, there isn’t yet a stigma around driving high,” BBDO Creative Chief Denise Rossetto told AdWeek. “In fact, a lot of users we spoke to actually believe they’re better drivers when they’re high. So, we knew we had to do something to change public perception.”
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The unique campaign, first reported by AdWeek, introduces three new strains of marijuana and describes the possible repercussions of consuming while driving:
• Kourtroom Kush promises “an emotional joyride that doesn’t end well. This first-time offender conjures up feelings of regret, shame and guilt, the same emotions as someone who’s just been charged with impaired driving.”
• Slammer Time “packs a potent punch, often inducing feelings of remorse, paranoia and isolation from the outside world. The same feelings as someone who’s been sentenced to life in prison for killing another driver or pedestrian.”
• White Whiplash “starts mellow then hits you hard. This bitter bold bud has been known to strike the perfect balance of misery and devastation. A similar outcome to some suffering from the pain of an auto accident injury.”
As for campaign inspiration, “the idea came from the fact that today there’s a strain for anything—chilling on the couch, studying for an exam,” Rossetto told AdWeek. “We decided to create thee more that remind you to stay safe.”
More than one-third of Canadian traffic deaths are linked to alcohol, the worst drunk-driving record of any high-income nation. (The United States is second.) Clearly, driving while impaired is a serious issue in North America. These ads may help spread the word on the idiocy of getting behind the wheel after consuming cannabis.
You can watch the series of ads here.