1. Cannabis Marketing Puts the “pot” in Jackpot
Marijuana is officially legal for recreational use in Canada, and as legalization continues to march across North America, some advertisers are getting ready for what may be a minefield of marketing opportunities and perils. Cannabis is projected to be a $200 billion annual industry, and advertising campaigns are already beginning to make their debuts. However, the industry has many obstacles to overcome – even when formally legalized, there are restrictions for how cannabis brands can advertise their products. They cannot explicitly show the drug being used in ads and the ads can only be placed on channels where at least 71.6% of the audience is above 21 years of age. Brands also cannot claim their products have “curative or therapeutic effects”, which is a major argument for the legalization crowd. On top of those restrictions, they face also limitations with digital advertising. Facebook and Google are currently prohibiting marijuana companies from buying ad inventory. Advertising complications will continue to grow so long as the federal government maintains their ban on the drug and more states open the doors. As such, companies are working around the limitations by building lifestyle branding to resonate with the younger millennial consumer – illustrating a carefree and relatable lifestyle of afternoon hiking trips, picnics in lush green valleys, and strolls along the shore during sunrise. Despite the advertising hurdles and legal obstacles, companies big and small see massive potential in weed legalization and are keen on getting ahead of the competition.