Cannabis Spending in Digital Grows, Brking Down Barriers

Cannabis stores have become the modern-day Starbucks with one on every corner in town. While the real estate industry has progressed with the times, the question still lingers like a cloud of smoke, has the advertising world? Typically, the digital media industry leads the way in exploring new approaches to engaging a growing digital audience. When it comes to cannabis, however, ever-changing legislation and digital policies create obstacles for the digital industry. Brkthru is on the forefront of breaking barriers down and delivering success for our cannabis clients. 

A recent Gallup Poll indicated 68% of U.S. adults support cannabis legalization. Just two decades ago, it was the inverse as 64% said it should be illegal. While sweeping public opinion and policy changes take time, Brkthru is on the crest of this changing tide.

Historically, cannabis brands have been considered taboo with restrictions from both a legislative and advertising standpoint. But this year’s 4/20 saw more mainstream brands celebrating the holiday than ever before. Newcomers such as Red Lobster and BIC joined in on the trend with OGs like Ben & Jerry’s for cannabis-friendly brand partnerships. Per usual, we had our favorite “tokers”, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dog, and Willie Nelson, joining in on the high with BIC ads on 420. This further illustrates a shift to the norm in this highly regulated media space.

In digital, people who use cannabis for medicinal or recreational use are 67% more likely to hear about new products through music streaming services. While there still might be restrictions around top audio streaming players like Spotify and Pandora, other audio streaming services, like iHeart Radio, have opted to roll one and join in on the party. 

Even the social platform, Twitter, has relaxed its policies as cannabis usage becomes more normalized.  In February, Twitter updated its advertising policy to allow cannabis ads on the platform in states where cannabis is legal. While Twitter now allows cannabis advertising, they do prohibit advertisers from making health claims about their products or depicting its use in their ads.

Further, Private Marketplace deals (PMPs) have bridged the gap between cannabis advertisers and publishers of popular websites that allow cannabis advertisers to advertise programmatically. This is vital to digital cannabis advertisers as nearly half of the Cannabis user audience (47%) learns about new brands via display ads.

As this space evolves, Brkthru continues to support our Cannabis and CBD partners in growing their businesses. Our team takes a highly refined approach to service, helping navigate changing legislation and policies. When it comes to our partners, we start with YES.

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