5 Reasons why big cannabis companies use celebrities to sell products

Published Jul 14, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / petrenkod

It’s become a new trend as bigger cannabis companies like Canopy Growth are hand-selecting celebrities from all different walks of life to represent their products. This might seem like a relatively old idea, as we’ve watched actors and singers on commercials for some of the biggest brands in the world, but the reason that it’s happening within the cannabis industry is slightly different. That’s right! These large corporations are doing everything that they can to get you to buy through them, and one of the ways that they do it is by using celebrities for the following reasons.

1. Nostalgia sells

Each generation has its big hit trend or theme, and for this one, it seems to be a phase of nostalgia that is making bank. We’ve watched 90’s concerts sold out, and remakes of old Disney classics like Cinderella, Snow White, and 101 Dalmatians come back to us in a whole new light, and the big companies have seen that people, in general, love the feeling of nostalgia. That is why we see old names like Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, or Cheech and Chong make a rise back to fame, through cannabis companies and advertisements, making these once loved stars, the newest hits of the century through suggestive marketing.

2. Creating a connection from nothing

Even the biggest and most well-established cannabis companies are working from what is essentially square one, and like any new company, they have to compete for attention and to be memorable. We tend to feel connected to certain brands through experience, something that can take decades to build up successfully, but with the assistance of a few memorable faces, it’s easy to be the most recognizable by consumers. It creates a connection from virtually nothing and lays the foundation for the company to build upon with little to no effort at all.

3. Piggybacking off reputation

When we think about certain celebrities like, for example, Cheech and Chong, it brings to mind the tales of the epic stoners who went on adventures that many of us could only dream of with weed. Since cannabis companies are trying to build a reputation for quality, and these individuals are believed to be great connoisseurs of their time, it only makes sense that showing their faces would lend some credibility to the potency and quality of a product. No matter how much any cannabis company tried, they will need years to build up a reputation, so they use the faces of famous people to bypass that wait.

4. An illusion of trust

If the famous rapper Snoop Dogg were to hand you a joint out of the blue, would you trust it? Well, of course, you would. Sure, you might take a moment to question his motivations, but since he’s a huge face that you grew up seeing nearly every day, for most consumers, the answer is an overwhelming, yes, and this is an illusion of trust. We like to think that famous people spend so much time in the spotlight, that it’s hard for them to lie or to deceive, and that’s what cannabis companies hope to play from.

5. Celebrities need money

Gone are the days where everyone paid their fair share for a tape or an album, and here are the times where most will either bootleg the music through an illegal downloading site, or watch the latest movies through streaming services that aren’t giving a single dime to those who made them. Times are hard for everyone these days, but that is especially true for celebrities who are having a challenge making money in the same way that those before them did. This makes them willing, and widely available for cannabis companies to use, which is why we are seeing more and more as legalization spreads.

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