It's not subtle, sure. But the #betterwhenbaked Totino's Pizza Rolls ads targeted at Colorado's legal pot populace are definitely eye-catching.
Ads for Pizza Rolls (which were invented in Minnesota, by the way) have been popping up around Colorado recently. With billboards like this:
The company also has some targeted Twitter ads out there, like this one where an excited 4/20 celebrator asks if there are still Pizza Rolls available at the store, ala A Christmas Carol. Here's another one, with a person running around a neighborhood, tossing Pizza Rolls to people, yelling "Happy 4/20!"
(And if you want to looks at how another company is embracing its audience, check out the Denny's blog – which is maybe the trippiest corporate Tumblr you'll ever see.)
Funny and clever, or out of line?
Some people adore these ads.
"I don't smoke, but I am certainly enjoying @totinos #420 ad campaign. #betterwhenbaked," wrote @bettermaybe.
"????????????????to @totinos'! Just saw their #betterwhenbaked Denver city bus campaign & it made my little marketing heart flutter. You guys, ????" said @sassymcmac.
But there are plenty of people who aren't on board, including @dogood4America, who replied: "are you really supporting 4/20? You do know it's illegal in most states. #Stupid #NoLongerACustomer."
Which shouldn't be surprising, when you consider national polls on marijuana use. Gallup in October of 2016 found 60 percent of Americans said marijuana should be legal, the highest percentage since they started asking the questions in 1969. That still leaves four out of every 10 Americans against it though.
Gotta watch the language
So whether you like the ad campaign or not, there are consumer credibility things to worry about – something the Washington Post wrote about in-depth, going over how companies will market toward pot-smokers, but side-step any actual endorsement of smoking weed.
That's what Totino's has been doing, in a response to @dogood4America writing: "Totino's is promoting the consumption of Pizza Rolls and celebrating our fans who love them ... Our goal is to have fun with our fans. Thanks!"
By the way a Marist Poll released this week found 52 percent of American adults have said they've used marijuana at least once – and 44 percent currently use it.
Eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, a cannabis advocacy group says.