There are some historical truisms about cannabis: it sells itself and is recession-proof.
The latter proved correct in 2020 – despite the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the US economy, Legal Weed had a record year, most recently with a daily high on Green Wednesday.
But as everyone in the industry will notice, it’s an ability to move products, even one as desirable as ganja.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite marketing activities, which include virtual activations, TV shows, out-of-home displays, and purpose-built packaging, into a best-of list that highlights the innovation, agility, and agility of the cannabis industry wisely . For context, check out the top of 2019 compilation to see how the company and its consumer communications have performed.
“Trust the Earth” – Studio Number One
Charlotte’s web went big in the heartland – the equivalent of 57 soccer fields in McPherson, Kansas – to make a statement about wellness and hemp with a visually stunning farm art project. The summer activation of the groundbreaking brand CBD spanned more than 3 million square meters and it took a good week for a single wheat farmer to mow with the help of GPS and the employee Precision Mazes.
It was designed by Shepard Fairey’s number one studio as a result of the more traditional (yet huge) out-of-home displays in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, DC in Fall 2019
“Trust the Earth” was seen in its full glory through aerial photography and earned around 258 million earned media impressions and increased brand awareness by 30%.
Growing Belushi, Discovery Channel and Smoke
Marijuana + Black America, BET
These TV projects aren’t technically commercials, but they do underscore two solid trends in the weed industry: Hollywood celebrities flooding the space (not for the first time) and major media outlets increasingly devoting airtime to the topic.
With a casual conversation, loosely scripted growing Belushi follows the actor and musician’s work on his 93 acre cannabis farm in southern Oregon that includes family drama, failed harvests, and skinny dips (with strategically placed pixelation) in the Rogue River.
Belushi got help from his famous friends, weed maven Captain Jack and comedian Dan Ackroyd, when he launched a strain from the Blues Brothers brand. Despite his support, he knows he’s wading into an area where hip-hop artists, former professional athletes, and other Hollywood types already exist.
“A famous line of cannabis can’t just be a pretty box with a recognizable name,” Belushi told Adweek. “It has to be real and authentic, it has to have a story and a why. I do that with this show. I inform the audience about my relationship with cannabis. I believe in the message and medicine. “
The show’s producers are in talks for a possible second season.
On the documentary side, Smoke: Marijuana + Black America shows cannapreneurs like B-Real, Al Harrington and Ricky Williams talking about the failed war on drugs, racial differences in the criminal justice system and barriers to entry for budding business owners.
The program, narrated and executed by rapper Nas, highlights painful past and present inequalities, but is ultimately a hopeful vision of the future.
“Enter data, give thanks” – Born & Bred
Eaze, California’s largest cannabis shipments market, has renamed itself for the first time since its debut in 2014 this year, away from discreet “wink-wink” ads and apologetically weed loyalists.