If three is a trend, there is a definite trend in the cannabis industry of successful companies making exquisitely produced television commercials that TV stations and networks won’t run.
Lowell Herb Co., the dominant pre-roll brand in California’s immense legal marijuana market, has joined Acreage and MadMen in the select group of cannabis companies with classy commercials barred from over-the-air television. The 90-second ad, titled “Finally,” was directed by the award-winning director Cutter Hodierne and features actress Bella Thorne with voice over by actress Sasha Lane. Lowell wanted to air it during the Oscars, at least locally in Los Angeles where their headquarters are located, but ABC refused.
The ad concludes with a convivial gathering of young adults purchasing Lowell Herb pre-rolls from what appears to be a cigarette vending machine from yesteryear and lighting up, which is contrary to advertising best practices guidelinesrecently adopted by the National Association of Cannabis Businesses. The guidelines are voluntary and Lowell Herb Co. is not a member of the association.
“Our brand is celebrating legalization, from the people who make the product to the people who enjoy the product,” said CEO David Elias. “Large cannabis businesses are creating amazing content, amazing commercials, but the challenge for us is that advertising is very difficult.”
Being rejected by ABC puts Lowell in good company. Acreage produced a heart-tugging commercial featuring the true stories of patients whose lives were drastically improved with CBD. Acreage was willing to pay the $5M it costs for a Super Bowl ad but CBS said no.
Published: February 28, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News