This Trippy Tube Man Is One Hell of a Way to Keep Denver Teens From Smoking Weed

By Doug Zanger 

As we sit inside the old Spy compound with no data to back up our findings, we can tell you that every third pitch we get these days has something to do with The Marijuana. While it’s interesting to watch that industry continue its upward arc, a steady diet of cannabis-infused beef jerky and cannabinoid-laced magic mystery oil can lead to some early-stage burnout. The illegality of advertising the devil’s weed in most states only complicates the matter.

No such problem exists in Colorado, where the business industry has been on consistent overdrive since the green stuff went fully legal way back in 2012. (Shout out to Crispin!) But, as a reminder, this particular form of unwinding is for the 21-and-up set.

With that in mind, Denver agency Amélie has partnered with the City and County of Denver on a new campaign to keep teens away from the smoke (or edibles, or teas) using some pretty trippy CGI, because that makes sense? The videos, produced by Friends of Mine, use some interesting analogies to educate youth on the high costs of underage dankenstein use.

For example, a burned pizza reminds people that left-handed cigarettes (a term used by a bus driver on a trip to Killington, Vt. in 1987 … I heard it) can make you forgetful.

A stack of almost 8,000 burritos illustrates the cost of tuition at a four-year college … and what students stand to lose if they get a Silly Spinach offense on their record.

Money going through a meat grinder represents the possible loss of a scholarship with a kush charge.

Our favorite, however, may be the tube man. Long a staple of used car and mattress sales, the air-blown giant cuts a bizarre figure in slow motion to show how some Scooby-do can decrease motivation.

(We tried this with the video volume turned down and The Grateful Dead’s “Sugar Magnolia” turned up. It’s not exactly perfect internet, but it’s up there. Phish works here, too, if you are so inclined.)

Of course, we kid since we’re trying to work as many reefer references into this.

But we are serious when we say that the second year of the “High Costs” campaign from Amélie looks to be something that will break through and is an admirable follow-up to last year’s game show project … all designed to keep kids on track and get them the information they need to avoid a costly mistake.