Experiential Marketing Rules for Cannabis Brands (Elevate Connect)

Key Takeaways:

  • As several states continue to move toward making cannabis legal, cannabis brands have become increasingly mainstream and increasingly interested in using experiential marketing to differentiate themselves.
  • Several top brands have begun abandoning television advertising during the Super Bowl, pivoting toward new marketing strategies surrounding the big game.
  • Stress is a part of life, but there are strategies that people can take to turn the negative aspects of stress into a positive.


Blazing Trails – the Dos and Don’ts of Cannabis Experiences at Events

There are key experiential marketing rules for cannabis brands to follow.

For decades, cannabis has been in the throes of controversy. While legally it has been classified as an illegal substance, pot advocates have long called for cannabis to become legal. And, due to political pressure, over the last few years the industry has begun to see the light of day. With each passing year, more US states are taking up the issue, opting to allow the plant for medical and even recreational use. And with each move, the industry is buoyed by rapid growth, prompting cannabis brands to take the shape of mainstream companies. And due to increased competition, many of them are beginning to explore event marketing.

However, with an industry that is relatively new and still has its legal challenges, brands are entering unknown territory. Even so, the potential for success from experiential is too high to ignore. Fresh off their first legal cannabis activation at Outside Lands festival, festival creators Superfly shared some of their most important tips with Event Marketer.And there are experiential marketing rules they should follow. Check them out here.


The Future of Super Bowl Ads Doesn’t Include TV – or Football

The Super Bowl has become as much about experiential marketing as anything else.

You don’t have to be a marketer to know that the Super Bowl has become more than a football game. In 2015 alone, 111 million people watched the game on television. With viewership numbers in the stratosphere, it makes sense that companies would vie for a prime commercial spot. The price to run an ad in 2019 came out to approximately $175,000 per second. Yes, per second. That makes Bill Gates’ mere $114 per second he’s alive look like pocket changes. However, there are signs that the tide could be changing. That viewership number in 2015 is the peak of the game’s draw since its inception. Since then, the Super Bowl viewer numbers have been in decline.

Knowing that the Super Bowl doesn’t have the viewership it once had, brands have adapted their commercials in the hopes they become meme worthy, giving them a long life on the internet. And some of the most clever brands are seeing that they can take advantage of the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl without breaking the bank on a TV spot.


Super Bowl LIII: 27 Ways Brands Took Over Downtown Atlanta

Brand activation enveloped downtown Atlanta at this year's Super Bowl.

Compared to previous years, this year’s Super Bowl fell short of expectations. Not only was it the lowest scoring game in history at 13 – 3, but according to most viewers, the halftime show left a lot to be desired. Yet, despite the game’s challenges, several brands were able to maintain excitement for fans through activations in the heart of Atlanta.

Among these brands, DirecTV, and Pepsi created brand experiences that surrounded live music. Pepsi organized a pre-game solo concert for halftime performer Travis Scott, while DirecTV’s “festival” featured artists like Foo Fighters and Zac Brown. Check out Biz Bash’s recent slideshow to see firsthand how some of the biggest brands took over downtown Atlanta.


The Fyre Festival Was a Disaster Because its Organizers Forgot These 3 Crucial Rules

Fyre Festival has become this year's premier brand disaster.

The Fyre Festival was designed to be one of the most historic music festivals of all time. Almost a year later, it’s certainly reached its goal, just not in the way initially intended. Today, Fyre is known for questionable decision-making and disastrous results, and has become synonymous with “flop.”. And both documentaries aired by Netflix and Hulu vividly recount every tragic moment for anyone eager to witness. But despite the disaster, there are a multitude of takeaways for marketers.

One of the biggest lessons surround the methods and impact of influencer marketing, and their perceived authenticity. While Fyre Festival demonstrated how an influencer-driven social media campaign can hype up an event, even one that essentially didn’t exist, it’s not the only take away. From planning to production, many of the decisions Fyre’s producers didn’t consider were critical, such as budget, and value.


Mansion Events: Luxury Brands Bring Their Experiences Home

Mansions have become a key location for luxury brand experiences.

As consumer preferences continue to shift away from physical items and toward experiences, some brands have experienced impact beyond rethinking their marketing strategy. Luxury brands have experienced a significant dip in sales, as millennials tend to value name brands less than their predecessors. However, last year we saw luxury brands embrace experiential marketing in order to stay relevant. One of the challenges these brands have encountered was finding a venue that matched the same look, feel and caliber of luxury. For some, the answer has been mansions.

Yet, only having a prime location is not enough. The experience within the space is equally important. Recently, Sparks agency published some of the biggest successes that luxury brands have achieved when activating inside of a mansion. Each brand took the already luxurious space and made it into something that uniquely personified the brand.


Applegate Touts its Whole30 – Compliant Products at the Pop-Up Clean Slate Café

Grocery brands are using live brand experiences to reach consumers.

When it comes to dieting, few people find the process – and achieving sustainable outcomes – easy. Not to mention the thousands of options available, from keto to low carb and beyond. For some, the answer has been Whole30. The diet takes the main focus away from weight loss and positions itself as an elimination diet that improves not just physical wellness, but emotional. However, there are a lot of “rules” surrounding the diet that adopters must follow to ensure the intended results are reached.

To help consumers on the Whole30 journey, Applegate partnered with The Clean Slate Café to execute a pop-up to not only provide a Whole30 approved meal, but to also help educate consumers. The New York City pop-up was limited to a certain number of entrants and sold out within hours. Upon entry, consumers learned more about the Whole30 diet and Applegate and its partner brands’ line of Whole30 approved items.


How to Make Stress Your Friend

As we all are intimately aware, stress has always been a part of every-day life. But over the last decade, the American Psychological Association has found that stress levels are increasing, with work being one of the top two causes. And while we all handle stress differently, the effects of long-term stress can be detrimental, both mentally and physically.

Luckily, there are proven ways to help reduce the severity of stress. Things like exercise, meditation and self-care are smaller ways people can take to keep stress at bay. But, it turns out, there is a way to turn stress into a positive thing in life. In a recent Ted Talk, psychologist Kelly McGonigal explains the “secret” that can change the way we think about and respond to stress. Check out the full talk here.

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Author: Elissa LiongElissa Liong is the Data and Analytics Manager at Elevate Staffing. She's a certain kind of particular, and loves thinking about all things data and insights. When she's not uncovering consumer insights and building out engagement tools that people love, she is probably at the gym or reading online spoilers about TV shows (even for episodes she hasn’t watched yet).


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