In a nod, perhaps, to the “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” crowd, a McDonald’s franchisee in New Mexico placed a billboard near the Colorado border that is garnering a lot of attention from passing motorists — and social media.
The roadside advertisement near Raton has gone viral. The McDonald’s in town decided to have a little fun with the billboard, showing a photo of a green chile breakfast burrito with the tongue-in-cheek message: “Usually when you roll something this good, it’s illegal.”
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) June 3, 2017
The sale of recreational cannabis remains illegal in New Mexico, but Raton (Spanish for “small rat”) is only 10 miles from the Colorado border.
The use of billboard as a medium to sell marijuana is frowned upon in many jurisdictions. In the state of Washington, for example, bans cannabis retailers from erecting billboards that could be perceived as attracting minors or images “likely to be appealing to youth.” But there are no laws anywhere to restrict junk food ads on billboards.
This is not the first time that mainstream brands have attempted to attract the cannabis enthusiast.
Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont ice cream brand has released various names of flavors with a wink: “Half Baked” and “Phish Food” and “Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies” are just a few of the ice creams created by the company.
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Each year on April 20 — the unofficial 4/20 holiday for cannabis lovers around the world — many brands have tried to get hip on social media to grab attention from the marijuana consumers.
Companies from Denny’s to Chipotle to Taco Bell have used marketing and advertising dollars to carefully reach this demographic. McDonald’s, the world’s largest chain restaurant, has joined the crowd. At least this franchisee in Raton.
It’s a sign of the times.