Cannabis Marketing, Shedding the Stoner Stereotype, Part 3/3

In advertising, branding, cannabis industry, marijuana marketing by Josh Whitaker

These are not stoner billboards.

Cannabis Marketing is just emerging…and it’s beautiful.

Shall we take a critical look at this billboard? Props to dama for making one of the first, if not the first, billboard advertising cannabis. Lucky for them it is legally allowed in the state of Washington.

Dama’s website, like part II of this series suggests, abandons all marijuana slang. Instead it uses key words and phrases to target a wider demographic. Words like, “premium,” “connoisseur,” “potency,” “purity,” and “sophisticated.” Dama takes the idea of language to another level. It invites interested parties who may view the upper right corner of this billboard to “join the conversation.” Dama wants you to talk about cannabis products. They steer you to social media with the emblazoned logos in the bottom right hand corner. Every business needs to know them: twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Examining this modern, fashionable billboard, even closer we find ourselves overlooking a grand natural vista. These hikers clearly reached the top through hours of sweat carrying heavy backpacks. Is it an add for shoes? Some kind of Smartwater? The only clue we really have is the descriptor of the company name Dama, “cannabis products.” There is no marijuana in this picture and no “stoners.” This is rebranding at its very best. Concepts like this are reshaping the market’s image of the typical marijuana user: vibrant, part of an active lifestyle, fresh and natural.

Standing Tall…Where its Legal. Cannabis Marketing can be tricky.

While this billboard is standing tall somewhere in Washington (we think), it is because it’s legal to put that billboard there. This is of course, always one of the biggest challenge with the new, blossoming marijuana market. One must always stay well within the legal requirements for the industry in the area. This can be devilishly tricky as marijuana remains illegal federally.

Of course, you can just hire us and we’ll make it all easy as brownies…

Federal illegality is the main force  keeping the very biggest of companies from taking the largest chunk out of the available marijuana market.  If, or when, depending on your outlook, this happens, the idea that marijuana will take its place among tobacco and alcohol as culturally acceptable recreational drugs, will become more of the reality. Marijuana, however, has something to offer the market that neither alcohol or tobacco do: actual, real, health benefits. In all likelihood, more research will be undertaken for different forms, strains, affecting which ailment or condition. At that point marijuana marketing might go more in the direction of big pharma, rather than the likes of alcohol and tobacco. In either case, marijuana marketing is likely to continue to broaden, not narrow. The image of the stoner will slowly fade into whatever the new hip user will be branded to be. Stay tuned.

Cannabis marketing will be coming to you.

Here’s part 2 and part 1.