2019 Strategy Awards: Pot brands speak up in OOH campaigns

Tweed and Dosist created platforms that educated Canadians on the benefits of weed prior to its date with lawmakers.


What brand would flaunt its absence on a billboard? One that isn’t afraid to give weed regulators a sharp nudge, that’s who.

Dosist is a producer of pot that’s not federally approved or allowed on shelves in Canada (at press time, the Cannabis Act does not permit the sale of concentrates used in vaporizers). The company believes this is a mistake.

Canada is ranked the third-most-sleep-deprived nation in the world, according to Dosist, while anxiety and depression costs the economy almost $50 billion a year. But the brand’s dose-controlled vape pen positioned itself as a solution to those sleep and mental health issues.

Dosist, along with Anomaly, decided to create an advocacy platform in response to the government’s non-response.

It launched an out-of-home campaign that called out Canada’s reluctance to allow consumers to treat those issues with Dosist’s product. The team embraced regulations that censor producers from promoting their brand, stating that Dosist is “Not Available in Canada.”

By positioning the campaign – which snagged a Gold in Cannabis Strategy – as a PSA, Dosist created awareness and built a substantial email database, with nearly 80,000 people signing a petition and contacting the government on Dosist’s behalf.

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But Dosist wasn’t the only cannabis brand waiting to introduce itself to Canadians. Canopy’s Tweed took a much different approach, bringing attention to its brand by giving future pot smokers a primer on all that is cannabis.

The “Hi.” campaign, created by Cossette and which won a Bronze in Cannabis Strategy, aimed to familiarize Canadians with weed strains and its benefits prior to legalization. Most felt a little in the dark (and nervous) around the subject, and so Tweed offered answers on a dedicated website, which was promoted via restaurants and bars, OOH, in online videos, as well as mobile ads. Not only did the integrated campaign promote the digital hub for questions and answers, it also introduced the brand to people with a clever double entendre: “Hi.”

The goal was to establish Tweed as a trusted and credible brand in the category. And in the 200 days leading up to legalization, it generated over 700 million media impressions, while getting 34,000 people to sign up to receive communications from the brand as their go-to source for cannabis news.