HBO’s third season of High Maintenance premiered on Sunday, January 20 and it was promoted using the show’s prime product: cannabis. HBO placed green food trucks serving CBD coffee and lattes in New York City and Los Angeles.
The show’s Twitter posted pictures of the truck inviting fans to stop by on January 18, “Spread the word, Brooklyn.
#HMonHBO is here to help you maintain. Swing by N 6th and Bedford for CBD lattes and coffee today.” The excitement reached beyond New York. One person replied, “Bring that to DC—lots of people here could use some good vibes!”
The Venice event happened the following day and similar to the Brooklyn invite, they posted a picture of the truck to entice locals.
The experiential event not only encourages the public to watch High Maintenance, but it taps into the growing cannabis industry—one that is quickly gaining mainstream momentum due to its legalization in several states. There is still a great deal of stigma around marijuana. However, at this event, no attendee left a truck “high.”
CBD or Cannabidiol is a cannabis plant-derived, non-psychoactive compound. A World Health Organization report found “cannabidiol does not appear to have potential or cause harm.” It’s also been linked to many health benefits alleviating seizures and anxiety.
While many brands have encountered several barriers when it comes to advertising, the High Maintenance activation illustrates a way to safely use cannabis in marketing.
In August, HBO did a similar interactive event with Bumble. For two weeks, Bumble Date and BFF users were invited to watch movies at the Brownstone in New York. It was part of their ‘Stay Home to the Movies’ campaign. HBO wanted to target a younger crowd because their core audience tends to be in their late 40s.
Ben Sinclair—the show’s leading man—made an appearance to the Brooklyn event to meet fans. Both trucks sold out of the lattes and altogether served around 1,000 drinks. According to Marketing Dive, the CBD Latte event “drove about 12,000 in-person impressions from customers walking around with branded coffee cups and sleeves.”
The comedy-drama TV show follows the New York City nameless deliveryman called “The Guy.” In each episode, he is the thread tying all the storylines together as he delivers weed to his clients. The show started as a web series on Vimeo in 2012 and got an HBO deal in 2015.