Marketing Win/Marketing Fail: 4/20 Edition

We used to do a series on our blog where we would look at ad campaigns throughout the week and decide which ones were marketing wins and of course, which ones were marketing fails.

We’ve decided to bring that series back, and what better way to start it off than with a 4/20-themed post!

If you don’t know what 4/20 stands for, it’s essentially just the date-April 20th– but it has been branded to be the National Day of Smoking weed.

So, for this week’s marketing win/fail we’re looking at a few ad campaigns; two that understood the assignment, and one that kind of missed the mark.

Marketing Win

In our first post back, we’re starting off with two ads this week that we thought did a great job of embracing 4/20 celebrations, and really hit the nail on the head when it came to successfully targeting the correct audience.

Usually, when it comes to smoking weed, most people will develop the munchies or cravings for food, and two fast-food chains decided to capitalize on this side effect in a way we think was marketing genius.

First, we have the classic Pizza Pizza, which made the most of the day by offering a promotion of 4 small pizzas for, you guessed it, $20.

The four pizzas would come with one topping each, so if smokers were feeling more than one topping, they could satisfy that craving. This is obviously a marketing win, since they took advantage of the munchies’ side effect of weed, and used a fun play on the actual date, 4/20, as a way to sell more pizzas!

Another fast-food place that took advantage of 4/20 this week, was the U.S.A. sandwich chain, Jimmy John’s.

Their promo included the phrase ‘how high are you this 4/20’ however, despite what it sounds like, it doesn’t mean in terms of an actual person’s physical and mental state.

When you went on the website, it made clear what it actually meant by this, which was how high are you in terms of elevation. There was a search box, where you put in your location, and depending on how high you are, the better discount you would get.

That is certainly another marketing win in our books.

Marketing Fail

Along with every marketing win, there usually comes a marketing fail, and this week, that fail comes from the police force of Rockland, Maine.

What they deemed as a way to warn drivers not to drive high, was not taken to actually be a warning, especially if you speak French.

I think it’s safe to assume almost everyone knows the French word for yes is oui. So, imagine the shock some people not from Rockland would have after seeing the police department post on their Instagram a photo with the words ‘Driving high = OUI.’

The OUI in question actually stands for ‘operating under the influence’ which would have been understood by locals.

While this may have done a good job at warning the locals of Rockland, in the grand scheme of things we considered this a marketing fail, just on the simple basis that to most everyone else in the world, it really looks like a police department is saying yes to driving high.

advertising, brands, marketing, marketing win/marketing fail

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