With cannabis cruising on towards the mainstream and the past days of prohibition peeking from the rearview mirror, many mainstream companies are looking to cash in on the cannabis craze. And what better way to take full advantage of cannabis marketing than by advertising on the indisputable marijuana holiday – April 20, otherwise known as 4/20. With plenty of adult cannabis consumers looking for delicious noms to munch on as fuel for the festivities, why not create advertising that appeals to a certain, 420-friendly demographic?
Here are a few of our favorite 420-inspired marketing campaigns:
Totinos wins the day with their no-holds-barred ad campaign aimed squarely at celebrating 4/20. Using the catchy hashtag #BetterWhenBaked, Totinos clearly is not afraid to take full advantage of their appeal to the canna-friendly crowd – and have fun with it!
G’mornin, friendos! Happy #420! pic.twitter.com/GKldq8CObs
— Pete Zaroll (@totinos) April 20, 2015
Totinos not only placed a 420-inspired billboard in Denver for last year’s 4/20 celebration, but they also joined forces with Denver’s local Pedicab Outdoor, to spread the gospel and goods to the masses. And if there was any doubt in your mind that the creative geniuses behind Totinos don’t understand your affinity for cannabis and pizza, just check out this bizarre and hilarious video from Tim and Eric (and Totinos, apparently). Are you a pizza freak?
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is no stranger to banking on the long-held affinity of the cannabis consumer. With such tongue-in-cheek ice cream flavors as “Half Baked,” “Magic Brownies” and “Phish Food,” the Vermont-based company has even flirted with the idea of releasing their own line of cannabis-infused ice cream. Their marketing efforts are slightly more covert, however.
In 2015, they released the “BRRR-ito” on 4/20, with the sneaky tag line, “Waking and baking our BRRR-ito! Have one rolled for you in scoop shops April 20th.”
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) April 20, 2015
This year, they’ve altered the ice cream offering only slightly: instead of a BRRR-ito, they’ve got a CHILL-aco, instead. Using emojis in gif-form, their ad follows the line of thinking from 420 to tacos to ice cream to the eventual revelation – CHILL-ACO! Gotta get it quick, though, because “it’s only chilling out in Scoop Shops for a limited time, so get yours before this taco-tastic concoction goes up in a puff of smoke!”
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) April 18, 2017
The all-American diner seems a bit wholesome to be joining the pot parade, but for the past several years, their Twitter account has paid homage to the cannabis holiday, with some fun, silly word play which are just pot-pun-tastic.
fork twenty, scramble eggs everyday
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) April 20, 2015
some of our favorite words:
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) April 20, 2016
Chipotle is no stranger to making the most of their appeal to stoner stereotypes, but a recent tweet used two obviously symbolic numerical options that elicited more than a few groans from followers.
How many burritos?
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) September 6, 2016
Their 4/20-inspired tweet, posted on April 20 of last year, was a much bigger hit, with a more subtle tagline. “Sometimes you need a HUGE bowl to get you through the day…”
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) April 20, 2016
The Body Shop
An unlikely candidate, the Body Shop encourages their customers to embrace the lighter side of hemp with their “Hemp Soap on a Rope” to celebrate 4/20. They’ve also been known to hold annual sales on 4/20, with all hemp products available at 4 for $20. The sale applies online, so check it out!
Soak it, don’t smoke it! Bathe with our Hemp Soap on a Rope to celebrate #420: http://t.co/eSAxhI2C7f
— The Body Shop (@thebodyshopusa) April 20, 2015
We only condone cannabis use by pets under the supervision and advice of a trained veterinarian, but that’s not going to stop the social media managers of this pet product site from offering great deals on 4/20. Using adorable dogs to get their hilarious point across, the marketers behind Entirely Pets clearly recognize the power of cute animals in advertising.
Rastafarian Chihuahua #dogs!
— EntirelyPets.com (@EntirelyPets) April 20, 2015
— EntirelyPets.com (@EntirelyPets) April 20, 2016
Carl’s Jr. originated in Los Angeles in 1941 and watched the cannabis scene take off in California, so it’s no surprise that they’d try to capitalize on the canna-crowd. They released an advertisement on Twitter geared at 4/20 and in 2012, employees wore uniforms with the tongue-in-cheek phrase “We Wake and Bake Every Morning.” And, although we have yet to see these delectable menu items on a Carl’s Jr. yet, the legend remains that once upon a time, a 420-friendly Carl’s Jr. menu was created. And it looks delicious.
— Carl’s Jr. (@CarlsJr) April 19, 2015
Bonus Shout-Out: GrubHub
Their new marketing campaign is not specifically geared towards 4/20, but with a group of friends laughing and ordering tacos that they immediately dub as “dank,” it’s hard not to notice the correlation. Also, props for making us crave tacos “al pastorrrr.”