Emerald Health Naturals is trying to put you to sleep

The new company is raising awareness of its brand by highlighting "need states" before it goes to market.


Emerald Health Naturals is preparing to launch a line of supplements that it says addresses trouble sleeping, among other things. It has enlisted “The Most Boring Man In The World” to help keep that “need state” top-of-mind.

The brand’s first campaign is making Canadians think about their sleep troubles with online videos meant to bore them to sleep. One of them is a 12-minute video featuring the bland-looking man doing nothing but slowly eating soup. Another features the same guy going through a mundane, three-minute long “workout.” If those don’t put viewers to sleep, the videos eventually drive to a website called Slumbr, which provides curated content and tips for those having trouble sleeping. To ensure it is only seen by insomniacs, the website is only accessible between midnight and 6 a.m.

The campaign, led by DDB Canada, also includes out-of-home placements that address other “need states” like pain and stress – such as ads on bus ceilings that remind people looking up shouldn’t be painful, or simple white posters to break up otherwise hectic transit spaces.

Emerald Health Naturals is a joint effort between B.C.-based licensed cannabis producer Emerald Health Therapeutics and San Diego-based sister company Emerald Health Bioceuticals, which makes health supplements focused on the endocannabinoid system to address sleep. Endocannabinoid receptors are what react to CBD compounds found in cannabis, but studies have suggested they also react to things like fermented foods, probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids.

Paul Dillman, EVP of global sales and marketing at Emerald Health Therapeutics, says the company is waiting to be issued a Natural Product Number from Health Canada, which all natural health products need before they can be sold or marketed. Once those numbers come, Emerald Health will be targeting the grocery, natural health and pharmacy channels. In the meantime, the company wanted to release a teaser to introduce Canadian consumers to the brand and the need states its products might be used in, before a “second stage” campaign is launched once Emerald Health Naturals gets the green light.

“We want to raise the awareness of the Emerald Health name with consumers overall, because the awareness right now is quite low,” Dillman says. “But highlighting these specific needs states in consumer’s minds makes a lot of sense for us, because it’s gonna pique their interest and ultimately get them to products that could address these ailments.”

Dillman adds that there may also be a “halo effect” for licensed producer Emerald Health Therapeutics.

Health and wellness has become a common theme in marketing from brands involved in the cannabis space. But the humorous, off-beat approach Emerald Health is taking is a break from the typical look and tone of voice being used by other brands.

“There’s a lot of noise out there, so it’s even more important to get something that’s going to be memorable and maybe create a buzz,” he says. “I think it’s humourous because it needs to be engaging while at the same time reinforcing the link to the needs states we know a lot of consumers are affected by. And you also want it to be memorable because we have this second stage campaign planned, and we want people to make the link back to this teaser campaign when that comes.”