Riding Marketing’s High

Riding Marketing’s High

iModerate Author

Jan 14, 2014

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Every business is looking for an edge, a point of differentiation, a way to rise above the noise. Being able to create that space between you and your competitors is a businesses’ coup and a marketers’ dream. Sometimes is takes creating something proprietary, finding a benefit specific to your solution, or serving a market in a way nobody has before. And sometimes it just takes pot. Not to aid creative thinking, although that’s hard to rule out, but to latch onto as an angle, as a marketing campaign – a way to garner buzz and business.

The much anticipated recreational marijuana era is upon us in Colorado. Dispensaries are open, business is booming and everyone’s trying to find a way to capitalize on Colorado’s new cash crop. The marijuana industry has already spawned new sub-industries such as marijuana tourism, and opportunity for other business offshoots abound. But through it all what has impressed me the most as a marketer, even more so than how well the dispensaries market themselves, are those ordinary every day businesses that have used this new era, this national story, to carve out a little slice of marketing heaven for themselves and stand out from the pack.

After a few weeks in the green, iModerate compiled a list of the people that have done the best job latching onto the marijuana frenzy here in Colorado with some incredibly heady campaigns.

hapa_pairing menuHapa
Hapa is one of the better Japanese restaurants in Colorado, and it’s also one of the most daring and creative. Their ad agency, TDA Boulder, created a food and weed pairing menu offering delicious food suggestions such as fresh Ahi and sashimi based on your strand selection. What has adding a little pot into their marketing done? How about coverage in AdAge, the Huffington Post, and countless other media outlets.


420 Friendly Realty Broker
Denver real estate agent Bob Costello didn’t let any grass grow under his feet. On January 1 he launched his marijuana-friendly campaign positioning himself as the 420 Friendly Broker. Bob claims his understanding of the industry and new laws gives him a leg up when helping individuals who are interested in growing find the ideal home. After all, Bob knows how important factors such as ventilation and amperage are to growing successfully. So far Bob has gotten a nice amount of leads from the campaign, as well as coverage on CBS, Huffington Post and the real estate trades.

Spirit Airlines
Spirit has taken the opportunity to launch a campaign centered on a web ad and email which declares that “The no smoking sign is off (in Colorado).”  The promotion offers consumers $10 off their next flight, and claims that they have “fares so low they’re barely legal in some states.” The outpouring on Twitter is palpable.


Ben & Jerry’s
A well-placed situational Tweet can be worth its weight in promotional gold (think Oreo during the Super Bowl blackout). This one from Ben & Jerry’s made its way around the web and was retweeted almost 10,500 times. No summary necessary…


While often silly, far-out and to some a bit offensive, there is no doubt these campaigns are both creative and buzz-worthy. It’s only been a little more than two weeks since the great marijuana adventure here in Colorado, and some of these companies with no real ties to the industry (Ben & Jerry’s is arguable) are already riding the high of their clever endeavors. I for one can’t wait to see what campaign crops up next.

iModerate Author

The insights I received from iModerate really brought our NPS program to life. While it was always highly-visible and important to key stakeholders it did not resonate as well with the majority of employees. The iModerate piece rounded out the NPS program and brought it to a place where it is now more valued, transparent and salient across the organization. Having the consumer’s voice and that context has helped us build business cases and impact operations in a way that has led to great success.

Adriana Smith, Manager, Brand Strategy, NRG Energy