Higher Ground TV launched a “Marijuana vs. Cannabis” campaign at AdWeek to bring awareness of the benefits of legalization. Parodying Rolling Stone’s acclaimed “Perception vs. Reality” campaign of the 1980s (Fallon McElligott agency), the new ads instead use the words “marijuana” and “cannabis” to juxtapose the past history of Reefer Madness with the new era of legalization.
Each ad highlights a different aspect of the evolution of legal cannabis; the first ad shows a dirty bong opposite a modern vaporizer (a CannaCloud, the Keurig for cannabis), with statistics on changing attitudes – and intake methods. The second ad compares headshops to recreational cannabis stores, emphasizing tax revenue, and the fact legal stores check IDs.
“While support for legalization is at an all-time high (65 percent), the vast majority of people haven’t really experienced what legal cannabis looks like,” stated Higher Ground Editor-in-Chief Michael A. Stusser. “These ads highlight safer growing methods, the millions raised in tax revenues and the medical benefits of weed. Our goal? National legalization – and decriminalization. Oh, and to promote our new talk show …”
“Higher Ground” is a new web series that spotlights the emerging canna-culture through humorous clip-show monologues, celebrity interviews, on-the-street field pieces (with periodically stoned correspondents), and parodies. “It’s “The Daily Show” meets “Good Morning America”….” says Stusser, “just with a giant bong on the desk.”
Related Story: ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee’ Gets Cannabis Makeover
Previous Higher Ground projects have included a “Comedians in Cars Smoking Cannabis” parody, an ad that ran in states voting on legalization last November (“Cannabis Clicker”), a weedWatch campaign, and a re-mix of Cheech & Chong’s famous hitchhiking scene from Up in Smoke.
“We’re using traditional formats like talk shows and ad campaigns and parodies to highlight modern cannabis culture,” said Stusser. “I think it’s important to explore marijuana with a sense of humor to truly reach, inform and move the masses.”
Five “Marijuana vs. Cannabis” ads were released this week for AdWeek, with another five to run for AdWeek London and AdWeek Latin America and AdWeek Europe. The ads are running on Facebook and other social media sites, as well as MJ Channel One and in print in the MJ Green Pages and alternative weeklies.
Cannabis isn’t just about getting as high as a kite. In additional to the legalization taking place across the country, cannabis is leading to mind-boggling medical breakthroughs, innovative products and inventions, as well as celebrity brands involving health, lifestyle and beauty. From gourmet edibles to Marijuana Moms to a growing number of seniors embracing cannabis for arthritis, weed culture is becoming pop culture. Rather than shy away from this emerging movement, Higher Ground explores it with an entertaining- and professional – attitude.
From Reefer Madness To Cannabis Connoisseur: Support At All All-Time High
Fifty-five million Americans currently use marijuana (22 percent of the population), and over half of all adults have tried it. Support for legalization is at an all-time high (nearly 65 percent) – as is the support for medical marijuana (88 percent). Of the 55 million cannabis users, a majority of those (52 percent) are millennials. Surprisingly, 54 percent of the adults who use weed are parents. The hard-hitting and topical Jon Stewart-brand of journalism is also more popular than ever (including The “Daily Show,” and alumni Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and John Oliver). Higher Ground embraces this approach – using advocacy journalism along with a sense of humor to bring the cannabis culture to the masses.
Ninety-five percent of the U.S. population currently lives in a state with some form of legal access to marijuana. Recreationally legal in nine States (including California, the sixth-largest economy in the world), another 29 states (plus D.C.) have laws on the books for medical marijuana. This cultural zeitgeist is not only increasing viewing limits, it’s bringing it audiences in key demographics who want smart, informative and entertaining programming about the people and products behind modern-day cannabis.