Sex has been used for centuries to sell products to the American people, first emerging in the 1800s to peddle cigarettes.
Since then, advertisers have relied on seductive, half-naked images to sell everything from fast food to beer.
And it worked, too, at least until cancel culture set in and challenged everyone with content deemed misogynistic.
Companies are waking up to and moving away from provocative promotional practices these days. No one wants to be confused with anti-feminist pigs. And they really don’t want to be cancelled.
Still, take a look at social media, and clearly there’s no shortage of scantily clad stoner babes posing with pot, seemingly on a mission to sell the latest toking trends.
Additionally, some of the most identifiable marijuana moguls have blazed their trail in the industry by exploiting women.
But it’s a strange approach to marketing, especially considering how long the cannabis movement has been fighting to be taken seriously.
It is also arguably pointless at this point to use breasts and buttocks to sell cannabis products. After all, women dominate the cannabis industry. Most have absolutely no interest in stripping down to become a hairy bastard’s eye candy or supporting his patriarchally steeped business model.
No, like Olivia Alexander, CEO and Founder of Queen Kush, they’re too busy building the biggest cannabis brands in the country. Interestingly, Alexander’s multimillion-dollar cannabis success story began as a way to escape the blatant bro-culture sexism prevalent in the pot trade.
“I started behind the counter of a dispensary as a budtender in 2007,” said Alexander Brutality. “That’s where I discovered and experienced the misogyny in the cannabis industry. Over the years, as my career grew and I started looking at social media and marketing for cannabis companies, I faced similar experiences being one of the few women in most rooms. . These experiences influenced my decision to dedicate my life to building my own brand.”
But sex sells. It is difficult to say that this is not the case, at least to some extent.
Even science confirms this. The desire to love beautiful people consumes the collective mind of men and women almost 30 times a day, according to a to study in the Journal of Sex Research.
So, it stands to reason that there is money to be made by applying the most basic human drives to advertising. There will always be sleazy fools inspired to buy a specific brand because a smoking hot model subliminally told them that if they did, they might have it.
If you ask the average male cannabis user, it is possible. The men we spoke to are adamant that while pot is a product with the mojo to stand on its own, it’s still a bonus in the hands of the female form.
“Weed sells, but boobs and buttocks sell more,” said Jaxon, 23, from California. Brutality.
However, some of the women who responded to this topic strongly disagree. A Michigan woman, Lissa, told us that sex is an “automatic no” in terms of branding or professional associations.
Nonetheless, the cannabis industry made a valiant effort to use sex as a marketing weapon once legalization began to take hold across the country. There was a time when cannabis brands objectified women in every possible way. A Reddit commenter tell us around a time when his neighborhood pot retailer was more like a gentlemen’s club than anything cannabis-related.
“We had a dispensary here with a stripper bar and girls working in bikinis,” they wrote. “They’ve been shut down. However, most dispensaries here like to hire hot girls to sell weed.”
But aren’t times supposed to change? Sonia Hendrix, the founder of PR Gallerya PR boutique representing cannabis brands and influencers, says Brutality the change wasn’t fast enough to beat the kill switch.
She says the cannabis industry’s blatant misogyny began to unravel in 2020. That’s when America, plagued by social injustices (police brutality and sexual abuse cases) , and possibly amplified by COVID, has been encouraged to grow a bit. The rise of Me-Too and other movements tired of “man” (literally) pandering to women for profit was the beginning of the end for the cannabis brothers wielding a sexual sales pitch.
And they may be gone for good.
“The result is a forever-changed customer, women and men, whose values and ethics have likely changed,” Hendrix said. “Customers today buy with a conscious view of life and what they put into it. This applies as much to customers in the cannabis industry as it does to other industries.”
It’s not just that sex is no longer “acceptable” when selling cannabis brands; this method of marketing is mostly futile. Not only are more women, like Alexander and Hendrix, leading the cannabis business, but women also make up the bulk of its consumer base. Some of the latest industries sales data from Brightfield shows that nearly 60% of the legal marijuana market is female.
“If you look from state to state, you’ll see that the future of cannabis is indeed female,” Hendrix said. “It’s clear that couple sex and cannabis won’t be a big hit anytime soon.”
Alexander totally agrees.
“Women have always had the purchasing power in American households and will continue to have the purchasing power of legal cannabis,” she said. “Brands that continue to sexually objectify women will be called out and left behind.”
Look, cannabis can be sexy, but that doesn’t mean trashy and offensive. Empowerment through free speech and free will is what really sells. Younger generations already understand this and can’t stand bad brother behavior.
“We are already seeing the beginnings of change with Gen Z and millennial women becoming the primary consumers of legal cannabis – and this group has expectations of the companies they support,” Alexander said. “They are ready to support conscious brands where they see themselves and where their values are represented.
New and existing cannabis businesses are taking this into account. Hendrix asserts that creativity and loyalty to cultural traditions and customer attitudes are the key to success and longevity.
“Building a successful cannabis brand is hard enough,” Hendrix said. “Operators and entrepreneurs will be much better off using more appropriate and creative marketing campaigns and tactics to strike a deal with their users. Wellness. Fitness. Beauty. Music. Culture. Put your heart into it and build a strong foundation of brand heritage will serve well in building customer loyalty,” she added.
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