How Mainstream Can Marijuana Branding Become?

How Mainstream Can Marijuana Branding Become?

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

With the possible exception of some remote residents of Tristan da Cunha, everybody knows Snoop Dogg loves marijuana. Really loves it. It comes through in every aspect of his persona, from his lyrics, to his attire, to his laid back approach to rapping. Now with Marijuana seemingly on the verge of mass legalization, Snoop hopes to share his love of the sticky icky with the world, through his new line of Snoop branded marijuana.

To create the brand, Snoop turned to well known branding agency Pentagram. With Marijuana taking many parts of the United States by storm, it’s no surprise that a mainstream agency would jump at the opportunity to get in at the ground floor of a potential boom. This all begs the question, though: just how far marijuana branding can go.

It is instructive to contrast the rise of marijuana against the decline of tobacco. In the 1950’s, tobacco clients were some of the most sought after clientele in all of advertising. Tobacco’s messaging was cheerful, ubiquitous and as mainstream as Lucille Ball.

Marijuana, on the other hand, only turned up in cringe worthy anti-drug films like Reefer Madness or the occasional t-shirt of someone who wanted to show just how edgy they were. It was as counterculture as the communists.

Today the precise opposite dynamic exists. Tobacco is a total pariah, the loveable dromedary Joe Camel relegated to the ashtray of history, and tobacco is only referenced by the Surgeon General and that guy you knew in high school that would smoke in the bathroom. Marijuana on the other hand, is hot. As Pentagram’s brand design indicates, marijuana is as clean, hip and very much a part of urbane sophistication as an iPhone.

How long will marijuana’s positive star turn continue? Marijuana, after all, contributes to the very same health effects that tobacco does – along with some others. Despite its ubiquity, alcohol advertising must navigate territory that traverses beverages enjoyed for centuries vs. chronic disease and social ills created by its overuse and abuse.

Like alcohol, will we be seeing an “official marijuana sponsor of the NFL” any time soon? Given some of the dope enthusiasts currently playing the game, anything is possible. Then again, the truest test of Mr. Dogg’s success in branding his marijuana will depend on whether he can drive user preference and command a premium. Time will tell, but the purveyors of Desert Dragon Kush and Beast Mode will likely not cede their market share quietly.

Now It’s Your Turn
FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Corporate Culture
When Everyone’s in the Desert – Give Shade

In this period of supply shortages and employee turnover, there is a surplus of one thing: uncertainty. Everyone seems willing to offer their solution to the “Great Resignation,” but it’s such an unprecedented phenomenon that historical employee retention theories and data are hard to apply. Something will work eventually – but until then we are […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture, Employee Engagement, Employer Branding
It’s Not Just About Money – But It’s Not NOT About Money

While we all try to dig to the root of the Great Resignation and look into the best ways to staunch the bleeding, it’s worth considering the issue of overall compensation. In the words of one Los Angeles construction company boss – when it comes to employee retention, raising wages is “the easiest way… also […]

Learn More
Culture
Matthew McConaughey and the Ministry of Culture

It’s pretty common for celebrities to take ownership stakes in sports teams, but few have the opportunity to get involved in the regular operations of their investment. Brooklyn Nets fans will remember that prior to the team moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner, a former minority owner of the team, convinced rapper Jay-Z […]

Learn More
Words
Thinking Beyond the Department of “No”

All ethics, compliance and risk management professionals deal with delivering news that recipients don’t want to hear. In cases of clear violations, there’s often no way to soften the blow or equivocate what went awry. But not always. Too many writers with enforcement authority think they need to stick to the facts and only the […]

Learn More

Ready to talk about how your brand and culture can do more for your business?

Let's talk
Let's talk