Cannabis Television Ads – Current Trends and What’s to Come!
Over the Super Bowl, a cannabis brand wanted to submit a commercial to run during the event, which was shut down (of course). What was the marketing strategy behind the tactic? Did the cannabis company expect it to run? Of course they didn’t.
What did they expect? The rejection! The rejection was the news that everybody spoke about right around the Super Bowl. As a result, their video was upload, download, re-uploaded, embedded, shared and spoken about on numerous platforms. From major news outlets to independent journalists, there were a few days where the rejected ad became a “biggish deal” within the new cycle.
Fast Forward a few months and we have another cannabis brand doing the same thing. This time utilizing an ex Disney Star Bella Thorne sparking up a farm grown and manufactured joint. The entire commercial has a lot of production value and paints a more quant picture of the cannabis industry.
Where the Super Bowl Ad focused on the medical side of things, the Lowell Herb Co ad rather approached the message from a commercial view point. Poking at elements of ‘community growing’ and ‘tradition’, the ad gives us some insight towards where the future of cannabis advertisement might go.
Let’s hope that the “rejection strategy” to get views soon will go the way of the dodo, however that might still take some time to become effective.
In the meantime, we have cannabis brands attempting to make the public aware of an industry that has been blossoming despite federal regulations against it.
A Few More Rejections
Since the Super Bowl Ad worked so well by not being allowed to air, I can assume that other brands will try to utilize the same strategy. This is okay for now, seeing that the federal regulations against advertising a controlled substance makes it impossible to get your marketing message in front of eager eyes.
However, this strategy isn’t sustainable. Perhaps once or twice, this might work. However, eventually networks will realize that ‘negative publicity’ is still publicity. I suppose, this strategy has worked at least in catching my eye (and having me report on it), however, the future of cannabis advertisement will soon look very different.
When Cannabis Goes Mainstream
The landscape for Super Bowl ads, Oscar’s Ads and the likes will eventually go green. Especially with celebrities investing in cannabis businesses. I can’t tell you for sure when it will happen, but sometime after the federal legalization of cannabis is a real thing, cannabis advertisement will begin to trickle in.
What would those commercials look like? For starters, the sheer number of puns one could do with the Super Bowl is astounding. There will also be a huge division in approach between medical and recreational.
The recreational aspect of advertisement will focus on consumer trends. Vaping, Edibles, hanging out, music events…these will all be viable candidates for subject matter.
When it comes to the medical side of things, we can expect a more pharmaceutical approach. Similar to the rejected Super Bowl Ad. We’ll see specific conditions being marketed, cannabis will be presented in different forms and the medical aspect of cannabis will be emphasized.
Will it even happen?
We get to see ads on alcohol all the time. All they have to do is put a simple “Drink Responsibly” at the bottom of the ad and everything is dandy. There is no reason, once cannabis has been removed from the Controlled Substance Act, that cannabis brands wouldn’t be able to follow suit.
Of course, there will be restrictions on what claims you can make, however, especially to the recreational side we should be seeing some interesting things develop over the years. Can you imagine when they start pushing new strains as their main product?
“Strawberry Purple Haze, the latest craze that everybody’s smoking”
It might make television a bit more interesting.
While currently there are restrictions in place for cannabis brands to advertise on national networks, it doesn’t mean that the networks aren’t interested. Similar to banks’ hesitation to get into the cannabis industry, Networks could be fined for participating. They are simply not able to allow cannabis advertisement…for the moment.
However, money talks. And the Super Bowl Ad was worth $ 5 million. The Oscar ad was worth $ 2 million dollars. There are cannabis brands willing to pay these high amounts for a spot on premium T.V. To deny brands from participating is saying no to money. Something that T.V Networks don’t like to do.
Thus, over the next decade or so, we should see cannabis ads on T.V especially during mainstream events. When the first one is allowed, it’s going to make history…and then cannabis advertisement will go full swing.
How that will impact consumerism within the cannabis industry, is still unknown.