The late Marshall McLuhan, one of the great media theorists of all time, famously quipped “the medium is the message.” In other words, the medium on which you experience media—television, newspaper, magazines—affect the way you perceive the meaning. It’s why people buy depression medication, even if it includes the side effect of depression: If it’s on television, it’s got to be legitimate, right?
A marijuana delivery company from Oregon, Briteside, recently took this idea to heart. Maybe, thought the company, crushing the stigma around marijuana is as simple as creating a cheesy, over-the-top, cliche television commercial?
Borrowing from the typical pharmaceutical company commercial framework, Briteside recently released a genius television ad that intends to help normalize marijuana.
In order to create the video, the cannabis company joined forces with Sandwich Video, a full-service video agency. The commercial begins with a visibly stressed out mother, watching her child’s soccer game and looking through tax documents. “Sometimes you need to stop worrying, and take a deep breath.” The narrator says. “Sometimes, you need cannabis.”
A cannabis delivery man then comes to the door, much to the satisfaction of once-stressed mother. This is when the commercial starts to cross over into unfamiliar territory. “Choose the experience you want, and we’ll send you the dankest herb. The real sticky icky… If you like what we send you, keep the whole jar. We’ll even include some nugs for you to blaze.” Reads the narrator, as light-hearted music plays casually in the background.
Just like the pharmaceutical company commercials, you might be used to seeing on television, Briteside’s ad then lists out a number of marijuana’s “side effects,” increasing the narration speed, typically done to hide drug’s undesirable side effects. But in this case, the side effects are all positives. “side effects may include euphoria, increased appetite, uncontrollable giggles, elevated sensetivity to musical dopenesss, and reduced anxiety. Tetrahydrocannabinol may also include feelings of existential well-being and relentless optimism.” Reads the narrator.
The commercial is so funny, the narrator necessarily assures viewers at one point that “and yes, this is a real company.”
Cannabis delivery services are seen by many to be the future of marijuana. Even Budweiser beer’s former chief marketing officer, Chris Burggraeve, recently launched his own marijuana delivery company that’s supposed to emulate Amazon.
In an interview with High Times, Briteside’s CEO and co-founder, Justin Junda, says “Three of the biggest pain points for cannabis customers are knowing if their favorite products are actually in-stock at their preferred dispensary, waiting in long lines to make their purchases, and for some, especially those with health impediments, just getting to a dispensary can be a chore. Together with our partner dispensaries, we’re alleviating these all-too-common pains.”
For those still getting used to using dispensaries, who are more accustomed to acquiring their product from a smelly dude smoking bongs in his mom’s basement, the idea of making the purchasing of weed even more simple may seem superfluous. But like any good new thing, the novelty will soon wear off, and people will be looking for ways to streamline their experience.
Briteside’s commercial somehow manages to accomplish both: introducing a novel idea through a traditional format.