I recently read a fascinating article that highlighted the evolving marketing of the marijuana industry. Now that it is at least partially legal in 30 states, the businesses behind cannabis are attempting to mainstream their product and remove some of the “stoner” stigma that surrounds it.
MedMen, one of the leading distributors, has launched a $2 million dollar advertising campaign featuring unlikely users of the drug: a nurse, teacher, athlete, executive and even a grandmother. Cannabis is being promoted in edible form and being touted as a natural and socially acceptable way to relieve some stress.
Other owners such as Judd Weiss, the founder of Lit.Club is going even further and positioning marijuana as “the herbal equivalent of a fine bourbon or scotch.”
I am fascinated by minds that can see the unusual suspects as their advertising spokespeople or take a once illegal product used by Cheech and Chong and think of crafting a role for it in the upper echelons of society.
Without resorting to the use of mind-altering drugs, how can you expand your thinking about who your product serves? Think of the most unlikely person to use it and force yourself to create a message for them. Turn your market upside down and craft a new campaign aimed at the opposite audience that you attract now. Even if you don’t go forward in implementing them, the exercise might create a new high for your organization.
Source: “Pot industry: ‘Stoner’ stereotype should go up in smoke” by John Rogers and Krysta Fauria for the Associated Press in the Telegraph Herald, September 2, 2018, p. 11A + 13A.