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Sex Fiends: Past Marijuana Myths Utilized in Digital Advertising

Past Marijuana Myths Utilized in Digital Advertising

Mary (with Ralph in the living room), puts out the reefer she’s holding, and holds her head.

Ralph: “How do you feel, Mary?”

He puts his arm around her.  Mary pushes him away.

Ralph (persistently): “Oh Mary.”

He forces himself on her, but she struggles.

Mary (trying to get away): “No.  No!  No, stop it!  Stop!  Stop!”

Ralph is practically on top of her, holding her down.

Mary (trying harder to get away): “No!  Leave me alone!  Leave me alone!”

She struggles, but Ralph won’t stop.

Mary (struggling): “No!  Leave me alone!”

Ralph (forcing her): “It’s all right, Mary!”

Ralph continues to forcefully hold Mary as she struggles.  He begins to unzip her dress...

The horrific scene above is from none other than the infamous anti-marijuana propaganda film known as ‘Reefer Madness’.  Young Ralph, a pot smoker, can not help but succumb to weed filled lust and throws himself at Mary in what is essentially attempted rape, which ultimately ends in her death.  A tale to scare young Americans and keep them from the dangers of cannabis.  An outdated mentality, destined for the grave.  Unless you are a digital marketer.

Marjuana products, having recently entered the domain of the general public via adult-use legalization, can now be advertised in many of the same places as house hold brands.  Residents of Michigan with a keen eye and knowledge of the industry have already noticed billboards along busy highways, subtly releasing to the world brand imagery, and with it, recognition.  Meanwhile those with one hand on their mouse, so to speak, may have noticed digital advertising on popular free porn websites.  Cannabis, bursting onto the pop-up ad scene.  Pun intended.   

‘Reefer Madness’ linked sex with marijuana use in an effort to smear the harmless plant.

Traffic Junky, an online marketing firm most widely known for PornHub, is the parent company of an entire umbrella of such sites.  Other digital properties in the same group include YouPorn, X Tube, Spank Wire, Red Tube, Tube 8, Keez Movies, Gay Tube, and Extreme Tube (which warns that viewer discretion is advised and whose logo includes a blood splatter).    While all are free to frequent whatever parts of the internet they wish, seeing marijuana products such as GPI’s Northstar on these particular websites sparks memories of old propaganda films, of Ralph and Mary, complete with blood splatter.

The anti-pot mentality lies in the methods.  According to Traffic Junky, underneath the heading ‘Reach your targeted audience!’, advertising with their firm will “Deliver your ads to the right audience with our advanced ad serving and auto-optimization technology.  Our team of specialists focus all of their efforts on identifying the traffic that actually converts for your business.”  Brands advertising on this medium are basically running on the idea that porn sites are the best place to target marijuana smokers.  Because, you know, reefer heads are all sex fiends with no self control.

Target marketing marijuana smokers via porn sites shows just how out of touch these businesses are with the real cannabis community.

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