One is most likely familiar with rapper Snoop Dogg and his image, that assumes an unabashed promotion of the Cannabis lifestyle. He is also heavily invested in it himself (has his own line of weed as well as an endorsement deal with G Pen. Pax, a vaporizer), with countless other urban hip-hop artists following suit. One of the clearest paths to advertising for Cannabis tech companies lies in the music video format, where product placements can be positioned deliberately. This marriage of music artist celebrity and product fuels both sides in perfect synchronicity.
Similarly, when an artist such as Miley Cyrus, a white, pop star whose image dates back to the squeaky clean mainstream Disney world, is openly expressive about her marijuana use, it opens up a whole new dialogue about the faces of the Cannabis lifestyle. Whether she continues to use marijuana or not is really not the point, it is the fact that her openly speaking about it, changes the perception of the Cannabis lifestyle in a positive way within a mainstream community that is not likely to have been exposed to it. So, when celebrities with a wide reaching platform make statements and affiliations, people take note.
It’s not just a ‘good look’, it’s a targeted, calculated business move that helps Cannabis tech companies navigate their products around tricky laws, restrictions and regulations. When celebrities pop up endorsing products, the masses flock, watch and follow. This is the reality of our time, the draw of celebrity culture is so powerful, it sells itself along with all the products or lifestyles that come with it. Behind this creative strategy in the Cannabis industry, there are many advantages. The restrictions for any type of traditional advertising within the Cannabis market are many, and in order to infiltrate the eyes and ears of its most sought after consumer, the industry must turn to celebrities who believe in it, to represent their product. Consumers are smart enough to know whether the celebrities promoting the lifestyle are just getting paid to do it, or are in fact proponents of it. This is something that is a gray area when it comes to many other types of celebrity endorsements.
Furthering this union between Cannabis companies and musicians is the important fact that it’s illegal to advertise in any other way. Google and Facebook have strict advertising policies, disallowing anything that mentions or is affiliated with a drug or related drug product.
Colorado, California, Alaska and Hawaii are subject to varied yet strict advertising regulations. Some of these include advertising on sites where the legal audience age of 21 is at least in the 70% range, as well as forbidding pop-up ads and national advertisements. On a more localized scale, Alaska and Hawaii are subject to a restriction in their advertising sign sizes.
How can Cannabis tech companies survive in this restrictive climate? It comes down to creative marketing of celebrity unions, as well and the basic fact that it is selling a drug related product . A product that is providing an instrument for the Cannabis lifestyle consumer, so to speak. Therefore, it is much more likely to survive. Cannabis tech will only see continued growth and all the trappings surrounding it are likely to grow along with it. It will be interesting to see how the celebrity endorsement marketing angle continues to support and create a marketing opportunity for the Cannabis tech market.
Here are just a few of the celebrities that support the legalization of marijuana:
Jennifer Aniston, Miley Cyrus, Morgan Freeman, Danny DeVito, Lady Gaga, Melissa Ethridge, Willie Nelson, Megan Fox, Susan Sarandon, Bill Maher, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake.
With a roster like that, the Cannabis tech industry is poised for survival.