FROM THE CANNABIS MARKETER

Flowers and chocolates have always been the popular way to say ‘I love you,’ for Valentine’s Day, but this year a fair share of consumers will look to incorporate cannabis into this special day. This is the first year where cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals are legal in Canada, opening new doors for marketers to promote and market cannabis brands this Valentine’s Day to holiday shoppers.

In February 2019, Lift & Co released the results of a Valentine’s Day survey on whether Canadians plan to incorporate cannabis into their romantic engagements. The results showed that 11% of respondents in relationships planned to make weed part of their loving festivities – and we can expect these numbers to increase this year.

As we prepare for the holiday, let’s take a look at some of the opportunities that marketers have to infuse some cannabis into consumers hearts….

Social Media

Canopy Growth social media content

Enlighten your social media audience with playful creative that highlights what you offer, but avoid promoting your business, products or services. For example, Canopy Growth wished their audience a Happy Valentine’s Day last year with this cheerful play on chocolates and flowers, without showing people using their products, listing prices, or encouraging their audience to make a purchase. 

In-Store Promotions

Cannabis dispensaries are seeing seasonal shifts in sales – and an uptake in people buying cannabis as gifts. Some manufactures have begun to dabble in holiday packaging and gift packs, while some brands have leveraged the opportunity to create in-store promotions.

AltaVie in-store promotion

One particular LP, Aurora Cannabis ran its first in-store promotion for its AltaVie cannabis brand by encouraging customers to consider a different kind of flower for a Valentine’s Day gift. The in-store promotional campaign ran in select cannabis retailers in Alberta and included posters, cards and door hangers. Regulations around cannabis marketing state that point-of-sale is one of the few places ads are allowed to appear. 

Content Marketing

New research and articles are being released every day that are helping to establish cannabis as a new alternative in the health and wellness space – from beauty products to sexual enhancement oils.

By creating educational or insightful content around themes associated with Valentine’s Day, you can attract audiences to your website without being bound by the regulations around paid-media advertising.

For example, Birch + Fog, a Vancouver-based retailer, posts relevant content directly to their blog. The company’s philosophy revolves around helping their customers make the most of ‘experiences’ by introducing products that mediate daily rituals. Instead of shopping by the type of strain, users are instructed to select the type of experience (focus, create, relax etc.) they are looking for. Their blog provides a ton of great resources that align with their philosophy – including how sex can be enhanced by CBD.

Fire & Flower Valentine’s Day Quiz

Another retailer, Fire and Flower, took a different approach to delighting their customers by launching a ‘Love Match Quiz’ last Valentine’s Day, to let customers find a cannabis brand that matched their personal style.

Product Branding

According to a 2012 article from The Telegraph, love is all down to the hormones (and other chemical reactions):

Love, say scientists, comes in three stages: the initial buzz of desire, followed by a deeper bond of attraction, and finally the warmth of attachment. All three are closely determined by our hormones.

It’s been shown that cannabis consumption can fit into this hormonal equation, from helping deepen the bonds of attraction to enhancing feelings of sexual pleasure. When it comes to Valentine’s day, love and sex are likely on many people minds, and cannabis brands can take advantage of this fact by creating products that are specifically marketed with that purpose.

Sundail ‘Pillow Talk’ flower product branding

For example, Sundial, a licensed cannabis producer based in Alberta, cultivates cannabis for three reasons: to help, heal and for play. They have created a product called Pillow Talk – marketed as a product that can be enjoyed in ‘friendly’ company.

Gift guides and PR

Do a quick google search for Valentine’s Day cannabis gift guides and you will find pages upon pages of cannabis-inspired gifts for your special someone. The secret to getting your product featured is all about sending a press release to the right editors at the right time. But don’t underestimate how many press releases editors receive – to stand out it is still important to share why your brand or product is better than the rest. Last year, Forbes featured a number of products that made the cut, including Foria Awaken:

Foria is trying their best to debunk the medical theories that coconut oil is unsafe for vaginas. According to a Foria press release, “If you’ve encountered this idea online or at the gynecologist’s office, you’ll be delighted to learn that it’s absolutely a myth, and it’s based on a study of synthetic, perfumed baby oil — not coconut oil.

Holidays always bring the opportunity to help your business or brand increase sales, so be sure to properly take advantage of Valentine’s Day. Just remember to keep things light and fun, and your customers will appreciate your effort to incorporate holiday themes into their next shopping experience.