Anti-drug public safety messages don’t have a reputation for being the most effective way to curb dangerous behavior. But that hasn’t stopped one safety organization from launching a campaign to warn how buzzed driving can kill, with a bunch of strange strain names that try to make it seem “cool.”
Campaign Invents Strange Strain Names To Warn About Driving High
Legal weed is coming to Canada in 2018. And with it, the inevitable concern-trolling and hand-wringing about its potential impact on public health and safety.
Chief among the predictable list of worries is how legal cannabis will impact drivers.
And no wonder. Canada has the worst drunk-driving record of any wealthy country, with 34 percent of all traffic deaths linked to alcohol. That’s despite years of public messaging about the dangers of drinking and driving.
But R.I.D.E. Checks, a road safety group in Canada, isn’t going to let the failure of other, lesser ad campaigns hold it back from accomplishing its mission of stopping the mostly over-exaggerated threat of high driving.
Joking aside, driving under the influence of cannabis can be seriously risky behavior. Besides the simple illegality of it, driving stoned can definitely impair someone’s ability to drive a vehicle safely.
Compared to driving drunk, however, driving high is relatively much less dangerous, and for some pretty interesting reasons, according to studies on the matter.
But all that is beside the point for R.I.D.E. Checks, which aims to make the consequences of stoned driving perfectly clear before folks in Canada spark up legally next year. So they’ve partnered with award-winning marketing firm BBDO to create three strange strain names based on scenarios a stoned driver might face.
Strange Strain Names Cook Up Nightmare Scenarios For High Drivers
All credit to BBDO for having their ear to the ground when it comes to the latest marketing trends in the cannabis industry.
Today, indeed, there seems to be a strain for everything. Or at least, a dozen marketing or brand names for the same strain. Typically, these strain names entice patients and consumers by painting pictures of relaxation, enjoyment and relief.
The strange strain names BBDO and R.I.D.E. Checks came up with, however, represent scenes of carnage and pain.
There’s Kourtroom Kush, an indica strain that the ads describe as “an emotional joyride that doesn’t end well.” It’s a strain for the “first-time offender,” and “conjures up feelings of regret, shame and guilt.”
“The same emotions,” the ad continues, “as someone who’s just been charged with impaired driving.”
Or maybe you’re looking for a more uplifting, energizing sativa?
Well, look no further than Slammer Time! This strain offers “feelings of remorse, paranoia and isolation from the outside world.”
You know, “the same feelings” you would get “for killing another driver or pedestrian.”
Having trouble deciding? Then you’re probably in the mood for the hybrid strain—White Whiplash.
This strain starts mellow then “hits you hard” before evening out with “the perfect balance of misery and devastation.” A similar outcome, of course, to “someone suffering from the pain of an auto accident injury.”
Will The “Consequences Strain” Campaign Curb High Driving?
To be fair, BBDO did a pretty good job parodying the lingo of the “strain review” genre. It’s definitely a more nuanced approach than other campaigns that simply dial the pathos up to 11.
But whether the sardonic, subversive approach will be an effective one remains to be seen.
Of course, these aren’t real strains anyone can buy. (At least not yet.) But posters “advertising” these strange strain names will be on display in dispensaries across the provinces.
For agency creative chief Denise Rosetto, the “consequence strains” campaign is trying to be anti-high driving without being anti-weed. The posters, after all, have pictures of beautiful bud.
“It was important we didn’t put down legalization, but for people to know there truly are consequences,” Rosetto said.