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AdAge: Stoners Make Good Choices In This Horror-Inspired AdCouncil PSA

AdAge Editor’s Pick:

Even an axe murderer is no excuse for driving while high in the first TV spot from Vox Creative

Marijuana doesn’t have the dangerous, life-destroying effects that a generation of drug czars and D.A.R.E. instructors have long insisted. But it does slow reflexes, as anyone who’s struggled to get off a couch to grab a bag of chips can attest.

A new TV spot for the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration takes a comedic, cinematic approach to its safety message, warning would-be stoners not to drive while high. Directed by Vincent Peone via Artclass, it taps into slasher tropes—a relentless stalker with a big axe, clumsy bros trying to escape, an abandoned pickup truck with keys in the ignition—and subverts them with a surprisingly responsible decision, even in the face of certain death. It wraps with a catchy, original song written, performed and produced by Daniel Grimsland.

This is also the first TV spot from Vox Creative, the branded content studio at Vox Media. Initially, the campaign was supposed to run just on Vox properties before growing to include broadcast TV. Movie posters, complete with fake reviews will run in 15-second cuts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Date: Jul 08, 2020
Client: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Client: Ad Council
Director Office of Consumer Information: Susan McMeen
Marketing Specialist: Kil-Jae Hong
Agency: Vox Creative
Executive Creative Director: Heather Pieske
Creative Director: AJ Gutierrez
Head of Production: Tina Nguyen
Executive Producer: Daniel Littlewood
Producer: Jessica Barbosa
Senior Content Manager: Mike Mueller
Designer: Lauren O’Connell
Production Company: ArtClass
Director: Vincent Peone
Line Producer: Lindsay Cortiana
DP: Justin Derry
Managing Director: Geno Imbriale
Executive Producer: Kate Aspell
Head of Production: Sparkle Jones
Post Production: ArtClass
Editor: James Lee
Sound/Music Company: TJ Dumser
Composer: Daniel Grimsland
Color Company: CO3
Colorist: Jaime O’Bradovich
Cast / Talent: “Bag Man Serial Killer” Matthew Van Orden
Cast / Talent: “Connor” Aaron Kheifets
Cast / Talent: “AJ”Jeff Ayars