Anxiety about how the newly minted US Attorney General will treat marijuana use was out of the picture on this year’s “marijuana holiday.” Yes, April 20—based on the marijuana culture’s 420 4/20 4:20 slang—saw numerous brands spark up the messaging, with a certain Vermont ice creamery toking the hardest.
— Ben & Jerry's Oz (@BenAndJerrysOz) April 18, 2017
Is there anything that satisfies the munchies better than CHILL-aco “ice cream taco?” That’s exactly what Ben & Jerry’s offered this year in partnership with ice cream shop Scoop Shop. From the brand’s statement:
“The CHILL-aco features a crunchy waffle cone taco surrounded by a soft waffle cone wrap with a layer of warm caramel between, filled with two scoops of ice cream and topped with a fudge drizzle and cookie crumbs to round out the deliciousness.”
— Grace Bricker (@Withe1985) April 19, 2017
The campaign was global too, covering all Scoop Shop locations from the US to Canada to Brazil to Australia. Ben & Jerry’s are sticking with what they know. The CHILL-aco follows the brand’s 2015 4/20 promotion: The 4/20 BRRR-ito.
Of course, celebrating 4/20 is not a stretch for an ice cream company that counts “Half Baked” and “Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies” among its product offerings.
In Colorado where marijuana use is legal, authorities teamed up with rideshare brand Lyft to provide ride credits in the interest of safe transport.
The Colorado Department of Transportation hid “420” highway signs around the state and gave $42 Lyft credits for those who found them.
Ironically enough, this 4/20 also saw Colorado open America’s first ever drive-thru marijuana shop.
creating an ad for the pothead community was fairly easy. pretty colors and loads of 4/20 references. pic.twitter.com/KqfOqiaO3s
— Dalton Antley (@daltonantley) April 17, 2017
Taking collaboration to the next level was Icelandic band Sigur Rós, which teamed with California marijuana edibles maker Lord Jones for a limited edition “SIGURberry Gumdrop.”
— Sneaker News (@SneakerNews) April 19, 2017
Skunk Dunks pic.twitter.com/oyF3KjNdDc
— Hayleigh Bess (@Sweet_Yeezy) April 19, 2017
Whether or not Nike’s green “Skunk Dunks” are explicitly 4/20-themed is open to debate. But sneakerheads are meeting potheads and choosing to believe that they are.
— Pete Zaroll (@totinos) April 12, 2017
Marketing to 4/20 for major brands remains sticky. While some like Ben & Jerry’s openly and intentionally cozy up to marijuana culture, other brands have played more coy. But the marijuana industry is clearly in a coming-of-age marketplace.
Hollywood films are partnering with marijuana marketers for tie-ins. Marijuana brands are developing positioning tiers, such as Toast or Tokyo Smoke, both sophisticated lifestyle cannabis brand. There are companies like Grobo and Goldleaf that specialize in marijuana products. Companies like EquipCanna and Diego Pellicer are agencies specializing in all of the design and brand-building expectations found in any product market.
It’s only a matter of time before the marijuana-themed one-off brand stunts on 4/20 just became part of a brand’s year-round messaging strategy.