As we enter the last two weeks of 2020, we should look at the Canadian marketing agency pro’s who have taken the cannabis industry and made it appeal to all different clients that use cannabis. Canadian cannabis brands found creative ways to continue connecting with consumers despite all of the regulatory and social distancing restrictions. Let’s take a look at the Canadian cannabis marketing agency finalists as voted by you, the ADCANN community.
Detonate was founded in 2010 and is located in Markham, Ontario. Detonate started as a marketing agency for all types of brands. The agency sets itself apart from other marketing agencies by creating real-life promotional booths and trade shows for cannabis companies. In 2015, Detonate started working with cannabis companies and has shaped the North American cannabis industry, which we see today. Detonate has been helping market their clients through print and packaging design, trade show booths, in-store pop-ups, and displays.
Detonate can design, produce, warehouse, pick, pack and ship marketing material and promotional items that they can design, produce, pick, pack and ship an endless array of marketing materials and promotional items. Detonate is one of the first Canadian cannabis marketing agencies to create in-person experiences that help promote the industry by setting up and tearing down trade show booths and installing in-store popups and displays (which they also design and produce).
Marigold Marketing & PR
Marigold PR is one of Canada’s top PR firms, located in Oakville, for licensed cannabis producers and national brands. Since Bridget Hoffer and Katie Pringle launched Marigold in 2016, they have created a team of branding, social, and public relations experts that are heavily involved in the cannabis industry. This agency creates awareness of the benefits of cannabis-use through building campaigns, being industry-focused, and providing excellent service. Their approach is simple, “Be effective, innovative, and positive,” through building solid relationships with clients who have the same values. The agency is committed to delivering work that will drive the industry and clients’ businesses forward with a focus on results and ROI.
Marigold provides services that help with company branding, social media campaigns, PR, and integrated marketing. Integrated marketing and communication is the basis of all their work. They create result-driven marketing campaigns of all sizes, leveraging paid, owned, and earned media with tools to evaluate how many clicks the campaign produced. Marigold’s 2020 work included supporting licensed producers like Neptune Wellness Solutions, who recently were named as one of Canada’s top growing companies. Some of their clients include Vantage Hemp, Earth Kisses Sky, Oak and Earth, and Sticky Nuggz. Marigold also represents a variety of virtual cannabis events including the New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit, CanMar Global Conference & Expo, and WWC Conference.
”This is Marigold's 3rd year as a nominee in the ADCANN awards and we appreciate the work ADCANN does to rally and showcase our industry. Throughout 2021 we are looking forward to seeing the global market evolve, and working with the serge of new craft brands, technology solutions and retailers launching across the country.Katie Pringle, Co-Founder
Puff Digital, is a Canadian cannabis marketing agency that started in 2018 with its main office located in Toronto, Ontario. Puff Digital has become a significant agency in the global cannabis market with clients around the globe, including the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. With their experience in the global cannabis market, Puff Digital has been able to navigate through the complexities of compliance, which has given them a unique understanding of how to connect, engage, and covert cannabis audiences in a manageable fashion. The company aims to inspire the cannabis industry and provide its clients with an experience designed to strengthen its relationship with cannabis users.
Puff Digital has created what they call a “cannabis ecosystem” which connects the innovators behind the agency’s marketing strategies, with connecting content creators and media distributors. Content is at the heart of the agency’s marketing strategy.
The services they provide for cannabis companies to help create their client’s strategy, a campaign strategy, marketing/distribution planning, and more. The agency creates a relationship with consumers and brands in the space to make good judgments, which is what helps inform the companies marketing strategy and brand partners’ campaigns. Puff Digital creators write articles and make content for brand partners on social media. For the company Hexo, Puff Digital designed its website’s THC dosage calculator for customers. For Up Cannabis, the agency designed and made a video series of all the company’s food dishes that include cannabis, and for Get into the Woods, Puff Digital creators put together a podcast for the company.
Skeleton Crew Creative Studio
Skeleton Crew is a Vancouver based marketing agency specializing in branding, advertising, and product design. Skeleton Crew is a newer agency, founded in 2019 with only a few clients, however, their content for Rubicon Organic’s brand Simply Bare was one of the best Canadian marketing campaigns of the year. The team is small, but a part of their company slogan is that they still offer “big agency thinking,” without being a big agency. Some of the services they provide are marketing strategy, brand identity and design, copywriting, ad conception, and product design.
Their key clients include Rubicon Organics, Blocktionary, Vessel Packaging Co, Trail Beer Refinery, Vin Van. For Rubicon Organics, Skeleton Crew has been working with them in the last few months to help market their new cannabis brand Simply Bare grown in greenhouses in Delta, B.C. Rubicon launched only a year ago, Skeleton Crew felt the brand needed a clearer message and created a premium image to do the product justice. The campaign created for SImple Bare looked to elevate their nascent tagline “Nature’s True Cannabis” by emphasizing the close relationship their products have with the environment and the B.C. landscape, including the benefits that it brings to their customers. The agency designed the product’s overall look and the logo, as well as how it would be marketed to the community. Skeleton Crew went with a natural look, following their tagline, the campaign uses nature scenes and colours found in the outdoors to create the outdoors, B.C. esthetic.
”Making the ADCANN shortlist for Agency of the Year has been a welcome piece of good news in a tough 2020! Working for Rubicon, with such a ‘new’ industry, has come with lots of potential and creative opportunities that have been super exciting for us. Looking ahead, I think we’ll see brands really pushing each other to become more sophisticated in their output. All the easy wins have been won already; standing out in 2021 and beyond is going to require deeper creative thinking, which is a challenge we can’t wait to get our teeth into.Morgan Megannety, Operations Director
Zerotrillion is a global marketing agency, founded in 2019, based in Toronto and Amsterdam. They specialize in advertising, brand strategy, product design, digital content, film production, activation, sponsorship experienced design. They have worked with brands such as Molson Canadian, Under Armor, Flowr, Ikea, and many more. The company is currently working with Under Armor to launch in the Middle East.
Zerotrillion’s work includes rebranding the cannabis company Flowr and designing their new slogan “Born in the Underground.” The company started as a small “underground” cannabis producer to become a well-known brand. Zerotrillion helped reposition and rebrand Flowr to use their underground heritage and speak confidently to an everyday cannabis user. The agency created the Art & Science advertising campaign for the licensed producer’s “BC Pink Kush” product which is nominated for Canadian Cannabis Marketing Campaign of the Year. The campaign went live at the start of September 2020 with a video and digital display across a wide range of sites. The agency describes the advertising as “Nothing special,” before explaining that high quality is standard for BC Pink Kush, and used the brand’s slogan “Grown True.”
Canadian Cannabis Marketing Agency Trends
- Social Media Presence
Each of these marketing agencies has used social media in some way or another to help advertise and market their client’s brands. Every agency has a social media presence on Instagram and Twitter to show what content they are capable of making. Since we live in a digital world, it’s impossible to market towards this generation, without using social media; and since the pandemic, the way we shop has changed and moved online due to storefronts having to close. Many company’s look towards marketing agencies who are experts in using social media and can draw people in through social media campaigns and commercials digital platforms.
- Design Trends
All of the agencies have used similar design patterns for their online campaigns. Every campaign uses bright colours and emphasizes it’s 21st-century roots to help draw in the consumers they are aiming to attract. For Skeleton Crew’s Simply Bare campaign, the product colour is bright rustic orange, making sure to stand out in the campaign. When Zerotrillion rebranded Flowr, the agency used the colour bright blue for the company logo and the company’s website, which is very abstract and visually exciting. Almost all of these agency websites or campaigns are visually appealing to the current generation of people consuming cannabis.
It’s hard to stand out when you don’t create an original concept. Every agency has a unique concept and aesthetic, to be authentic. Many brands stick with a simple and “clean,” campaign-style that follows the same design format as all the brands before them. Each of these agencies is unique and makes sure each of their clients’ brands is authentic and different from each other in every aspect from product design to the campaign. The success of all of these agencies shows that when you’re advertising to consumers, it is essential to be authentic and new.
Last Updated on December 30, 2020 by ADCANN