Deschutes Brewery called on marijuana culture to launch an ad campaign titled, “It Comes With The Territory” which encourages cannabis consumers to drink its beer.
The company promoted the campaign with three video spots set to a Pacific Northwest theme, a nod to Deschutes’ roots in Oregon, where it was founded in 1988. Digital ads from the campaign will run across Oregon and Washington, where cannabis is legal.
Both video spots, published to the brewery’s YouTube, feature a Martha Stewart look-alike who proudly tells the audience what the Pacific Northwest’s favorite thing to do is when it’s not smoking weed: drink Deschutes beer. In the 15-second spot, she pulls out a tray of “famously dank sativa space cakes” before referring to a six-pack of the brand’s IPA beer as “the beer of choice in the land of recreational cannabis.” In the 30-second spot, the same woman describes Deschutes as “the super dank refreshment when you’re not toking the refer.” A third video spot exudes Pacific Northwest pride as a compilation of images shot in the Evergreen and Beaver States plays to The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” song.
“. . .we have longer-term plans to bring the campaign to life nationally in ways that are relevant to local markets,” VP of marketing Neal Stewart, told Craft Business Daily, adding that the brewery will promote the campaign through social channels and via a “pretty robust digital/paid media buy.”
Neal added that Opinionated, the agency that created the spots, “did a great job of leveraging the cultural truth that a lot of people are participating in cannabis here in the Northwest. We call that out in some of these spots and remind people that beer is still a fun thing to ‘participate’ in as well.”
Deschutes’ tongue-in-cheek pro-cannabis campaign comes at a time when category-wide beer sales are slow. Domestic-made shipments of beer declined by about 2 percent, according to the Beer Institute, as reported by Brewbound. In December 2018, Deschutes laid off dozens of employees, citing missed growth projections.
Deschutes isn’t the first to push the boundaries of recreational marijuana. Lagunitas, the Northern California brewery, released a THC- and CBD-infused sparkling water available in two dosage levels. The water, called Hi-Fi Hops, was sold at select California dispensaries. To avoid the risk of getting its federal license to make alcohol taken away, Lagunitas brewed the water in-house and shipped it to CannaCraft, where the water was then infused with the special ingredients. Still, Lagunitas also scaled back with a 12 percent cut to its workforce in 2018.