Marijuana is a multi-million dollar industry. The majority of the American public is supportive of both medical and recreational marijuana so it is only a matter of time before the United States are completely marijuanized. Fair enough, the first ever marijuana ad video that appeared half a year ago failed miserably, both in execution and effectiveness. We realize it takes time to fully develop an advertising strategy so we’re willing to give marijuana ads another chance. Leafly, an app that allows you to review and rate medical marijuana dispensaries, just took a huge leap in monetizing on medical marijuana by publishing its very first ad in the New York Times.
The editorial board over at New York Times acknowledged marijuana being in the same class as tobacco and alcohol. Even though a fair amount of research suggests that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as the two mentioned vices, the Times’ decision seems to be a step in the right direction because they actually published the Leafly ad. Presumably, you are already familiar with the fact that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act and by doing so made sure that medical marijuana is legal in New York starting from July 7th. That decision put New York on the map as the 24th medical marijuana friendly state. Considering New York’s reputation, it is only a matter of time before recreational use becomes legal as well.
Advertising medical marijuana is tricky business. In some cases, it’s worse than tobacco because you have to be really careful not to endorse recreational use while advertising medical purposes. The slogan of the ad is “Just Say Know” and is obviously a play of words on “Just Say No”. The ad itself was in development for over a year and half. That should put things in perspective in terms of how carefully crafted the ad really is. The very purpose of Leafly is to provide its users with a reliable source of information regarding medical marijuana. That is their sole mission and they are working hard to make sure it stays that way.
The purpose of any ad is (or should be) to inform, motivate and convince the target audience of the benefits of a product or service. In that sense, Leafly has made a great ad. In a recent post on their blog, they said:” “We’re in full support of New York’s Compassionate Care Act. As the walls of prohibition crumble, patients need the type of reliable, mainstream information about cannabis that only Leafly provides. Eight out of ten Americans agree that medical cannabis should be legal for patients. Leafly is here for those patients.”