SXSW 2023

Ad Council’s High Time to Change Driving High


Cannabis is becoming legal in many states, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a deeply rooted culture of consumers existing in the U.S, which makes up the bedrock of a blossoming industry. While we want to celebrate this new freedom, we need to ensure we celebrate safely.

When you feel different, you drive different. This is one way the Ad Council and Madwell are shedding light on the importance of safe driving without insulting cannabis users.

This session will cover the importance of understanding a culture and, instead of villainizing or combating it, working with it to promote change. The Ad Council set out to do just that in their recent Drug-Impaired Driving campaign, where it’s okay to enjoy your new freedom—as long as it’s done safely.

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  1. We can’t have a message that resonates with people if we tell the people “No!,” especially if they’ve been told that for decades.
  2. If we want to make any sort of shift in perception, we need to truly understand the perceptions we’re trying to shift.
  3. Celebrating is encouraged, but needs to be done safely. Our new liberty gives us freedom, but also responsibility.


  • Dzu Bui, VP, Group Campaign Director, Ad Council
  • Chris Sojka, CCO/Co-Founder, Madwell


Micah Freedman, New Business Director, Madwell

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Presentation
  • Track: Cannabis
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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