Next week, suburban homes across the world will become the site of an inhuman invasion: the Attack of the Killer Nugs.
To promote its second annual Weed Week, Vice's TV channel Viceland and Australia-based The Glue Society created a series of horror parody promos featuring pot as predator. The ads will feature a sensimilla tsunami pouring forth from unexpected places in everyday abodes—like the refrigerator, the toilet and the television set.
The ads tease five days of marijuana-related programming that kicks off April 16. The network has high hopes for viewership: Vice says last year's Weed Week produced the channel's best ratings of the year. (No word on whether the president will be as entranced by this event as he is by The Discovery Channel's seven days of sharks.)
To create the new spots, Viceland used 20 pounds of pot on camera—that's enough for 453 felony offenses in Florida—but, according to Meghan Kirsch, SVP, marketing and creative at Viceland, not nearly enough for a stress-free shoot. "We really could have used closer to 100 pounds," she says.
About half the weed was rented for the shoot (and returned afterward). Some of the rest was damaged by water or glue during filming, and the remainder now sits in a warehouse in Los Angeles, awaiting an upcoming Vice Labs piece about figuring out what to do with it.
Besides the production, ad placement was tricky, too. Like U.S. states, different media outlets have different rules regarding the portrayal of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Independent media shop Noble People landed TV buys with DirecTV and Comcast, and national spots on IFC, USA and BBC America. Out-of-home work is running in New York and Los Angeles, as there's a lot of digital and social promotion. That includes a run on Pornhub, which has plenty of non-porn ads.
In addition, Noble People is orchestrating an event in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 13, where fans can "Smoke Weed With Jeff Sessions." Not the notoriously anti-marijuana attorney general, but a stand-in from Wisconsin with the same name. Beginning at 4:20 p.m. at a secret, TBA location in the D.C. metro area, smokin' Sessions and attendees can toke up together, tour the Viceland bus and get free stuff. Partiers will need to supply their own weed, though. In the meantime, the Viceland bus is driving by prominent locations in the nation's capital to promote the event.
While there's no indication that AG Sessions will ever change his mind about legalization—especially not in time for next week's big day—former House Speaker John Boehner's new job proves that even the most obstinate opponents can change their minds. Once they're out of office, anyway.