Who: Drug Free Kids Canada and Bleublancrouge for creative and media, with London U.K.’s Blinkink for production/animation and Vapor RMW for audio.
What: An awareness campaign about the potential dangers of edible cannabis, using humour instead of scare tactics.
When & Where: The campaign launched last week, running across TV, digital, outdoor, print, web and radio.
Why: With edible cannabis products now available for purchase in Canada, DFKC wanted to remind parents that edibles—which can include candies and other sweet treats—can be very potent with unpredictable effects. For example, it can take up to two hours for a high to start and it can last for up to 12 hours.
“Some parents and teens wrongly assume cannabis edibles are safer than smoking a joint,” said Chantal Vallerand, executive director at DFKC, in a release. “Our aim is not to scare parents, but to help them to start a conversation, so that their kids have the accurate information.”
How: By showing edible gummies that look innocent—like a child’s candy—causing all kinds of problems. The animated “Dark Gummies” drop Lego into a shoe, grill a toy dinosaur and shred a wedding dress. “Cannabis edibles aren’t as innocent as they look,” says the super, “Their high is unpredictable. And delayed.”
“The most common form of edible and the most child-like form is the gummie,” said Chris Dacyshyn, executive creative director at Bleublancrouge. “It is also very appealing to kids, it seems harmless as can be but the truth is it is potentially a lot more harmful than smoking a joint.”
Why Blinkink? Dacyshyn said they wanted to use puppetry because it can look more natural than computer generated visuals, and Blinkink is the best in the world.
Since the project was for a non-profit, budgets were tight and flying to London wasn’t an option. “The only way we could make it happen was to do a remote shoot, so for the first time in our lives there was no creatives in attendance at the shoot,” said Dacyshyn
“It was a huge leap of faith but it did allow us to have access to the very best talent in the world.” The entire ad was produced in camera, with only the puppet rigging and guide wires removed in post production.
How big were the puppets? They considered using actual size gummy bears but ended up making them about twice the normal gummy bear size.
And we quote: “Striking the right balance was a bit of a challenge because you don’t want to make it so laughable that no one takes the message seriously,” said Dacyshyn. “Yet we also wanted to use a bit of light-heartedness to serve up the message. I think sometimes people listen to serious messages more when they are served up in a less heavy handed, less scary way.”