You call it Cannabis, we call it Game Changer
by William Farmer, Staff Writer for OOH Today
The drug that PSA commercials told you to stay away from as a kid is continuing to be the next big
thing in OOH advertising. In the emergence of legal marijuana across the United States, Out of Home advertising is following suite.
With California being estimated to make up to $20 billion annually, OOH Companies view the marijuana industry as one with serious promise.
MedMen, a store that seeks to bring marijuana into the mainstream, has spent $500,000 on marketing already, straying away from images of smoke and buds, and instead presenting an image of wellness with statements such as “Relax. It’s Legal,” “Heal. It’s legal,” or “Shop. It’s legal.” (CNBC).
In addition to traditional billboard advertising, OOH advertisers are getting creative to spread the word of legal marijuana. TSA trays at airports in California continue the trend of advertising marijuana in a more responsible light, reading “CANNABIS IS LEGAL.”
On an international scale, Japan has approved for advertising of medicinal marijuana products, with the first advertisement being for hemp oil. Although the oil could be purchased legally since 2016 and has been used as medicine for over 300 years, this is the first time marijuana products could be legally advertised in Japan. Makato Matsumuro, chief executive of Elixinol Japan, calls this approval “a major win for the hemp industry”. It may also be a major win for OOH advertisers as well, as a precedent has been set for international advertising of such products.
Jason Santos, CEO of BurnTV, commends such advertising campaigns, stating that they have the ability to function the same as “any other business” while also dismissing the stigma around marijuana which has kept it out of the market up until recent years. As more states legalize marijuana, more opportunities for OOH advertisers open up as well.
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Jason in Hollywood
Legal. And smart.
This has the potential to take the OOH industry back to being mostly a tobacco medium. It took a long time to get rid of Tobacco advertising on Billboards, let’s not be to much of a hurry to be known as the Pot medium.
Tom T your ‘tobacco days’ comments are appreciated and presents an additional angle on the Marijuana business.
As we both recall those days, regardless of the cigarette’s harmfulness, the OOH Industry enjoyed a solid base of business providing long term support via extended three year agreements and guaranteed substantive yearly rate increases. The tobacco business was bankable for OOH. I am not convinced we were known as a tobacco medium any more than Television was when they advertised tobacco or we are known as a liquor medium today advertising liquor. There are others who would argue that liquor is more harmful than Mary Jane. Marijuana is obviously more mainstream than in our younger days and the trend is complete acceptance. Just as the public service announcements back in the day warned of its dire life changing consequences, times have changed. Thank you for reading OOH Today and sharing your years of OOH experience.