The largest retailer of legal cannabis in Southern California has spent $750,000 on an innovative ad campaign that is making a big splash in the region. The deep-pocketed retailer hopes to shine a light on the modern cannabis consumer with its campaign called “Faces.”
“This isn’t about stoner culture,” Medmen CMO B.J. Carretta told Adweek. “We want everyone to see that there are plenty of uses for cannabis and CBD, and that it’s super relatable no matter who you are or where you come from.”
The ‘Faces’ campaign features a diverse selection of actual customers with the simple message “It’s Legal.” According to Adweek, MedMen is wrapping the famous Whisky a Go Go nightclub on the Sunset Strip with a number of ads.
“The ads feature actual MedMen West Hollywood patients, and the message, of course, is to show the diversity of people who use marijuana and marijuana products,” MedMen Vice President of Corporate Communications Daniel Yi told mg Retailer.
Related Story: Marijuana Ads May Be Banned On San Fran Muni Buses
“This is not some secret club,” Yi said. “These are mom and dads, grandparents, professionals, artists, nine-to-fivers … a cross-section of our society. As the largest legal marijuana retailer in California, we wanted to get that mainstream message out to the broadest audience possible.”
The unique ad campaign was created by a small team inside the MedMen company. According to AdWeek:
MedMen had been searching for outdoor space in various cities around the region in the run-up to Jan. 1. As cannabis marketers often learn, making media buys proved difficult even if the creative itself tries to bust stereotypes. There are legal restrictions on such advertising, along with a continuing stigma as the legal pot industry tries to establish its own brands and mirror traditional consumer packaged goods marketing.
“We had a really big potential space near the 405, and we were all the way down to negotiations,” Carretta said, “and somebody changed their mind.”
Related Story: MedMen Buys New York Medical Marijuana Company
“The growth potential is great,” Carretta told AdWeek, “and the advertising side, no matter the hurdles, is an investment for us and we’re all in. But we’re writing this book as we go here.”
California rules limit cannabis advertising, so retailers are forced to find creative ways to reach potential consumers.