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, Corporate Responsibility, Culture
Say It Like You Mean It – Brand Transparency and Social Accountability

The clothing brand Everlane is well known for its minimalistic approach to fashion but mainly its promise of producing ethically sourced, manufactured and priced apparel. The practice, dubbed “radical transparency,” was trademarked by the brand in 2017, now including the brand’s ethical labor practices and sustainability efforts. The Everlane site breaks down the cost to […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture, Culture
It’s High Time for Smart, Intentional and Authentic Representation in Media

From 2012 to 2018, millions of viewers faithfully tuned to the ABC series Scandal. Centered around the tumultuous life of Olivia Pope, (Kerry Washington) as she managed Capitol Hill crises and her personal life, the show kept viewers on the edge of their seats and wanting more week after week. “Olivia Pope is smart, runs […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture, Culture
Work From Home — Engaging Virtual Employees Through a Vital Corporate Culture

Among the many shocks and adjustments of Covid has been the near-total virtualization of the office workplace and the subsequent shift to full-time working from home (WFH). At first, the initial transition focused more on mechanics — how does Zoom work, where’s the best location to set up a desk, how to minimize distractions and […]

Learn More
Brands, Culture, Design
How Symbols Shape Us

The recent Black Lives Matter movement has reignited conversation about historic statues and other symbols across the United States. The passion sparked when discussing statues of leaders who perpetuated racism and colonialism demonstrate how significant and powerful symbols can be. They represent the stories we decide to tell and become an extension of the community. […]

Learn More

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

Let's talk
Let's talk