The Brief: Weed Sponsorships and Predictive Palettes


This week’s hot takes on hot topics in experiential marketing cover floating face serum, a smokin’ festival sponsorship and predictive palettes.


cali vibes 2024 afterparty graphic_american weed coTHE CALI VIBES FESTIVAL WAS A TOTAL SMOKESHOW

Music festivals and weed go hand in hand, but a cannabis brand has never served as a presenting sponsor of a major U.S. fest—until now, that is. Over the weekend, American Weed Co. made history as headline sponsor of the Cali Vibes Festival at Marina Green Park in Long Beach, CA.

The brand, whose mission is to legalize weed for veterans nationwide, executed multiple activations throughout the event, including the Vibes Village presented by American Weed Co., where attendees could peruse vendors and learn about local and national cannabis brands and nonprofits. The main activation was a secret “military locker,” where festivalgoers could dip into a speakeasy-style tattoo parlor for a temporary airbrush tatt. And American Weed Co. kept the good vibes coming by donating 100 percent of profits from its Cali Vibes t-shirt collab to veteran and first responder groups.


As elder millennials, we’re constantly seeing signs that it’s time to apply some facial serum, but none of them compare to the glaring 39-foot-tall bottle of hyaluronic acid that floated down London’s River Thames last week. Indeed, The Ordinary touted its reformulated hyaluronic acid by planting its larger-than-life product on a branded boat and floating it down the river, past London landmarks, before completing its journey at the Tower Bridge, which had to be raised to accommodate the installation.

According to Campaign, the bottle was fabricated using a steel frame clad with timber, which was wrapped in painted fiberglass, with a giant vinyl label attached. There’s also a CGI aspect of the campaign, which makes us wonder if that bottle really did sail down the Thames… (Agency: One Agency)


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2024 report _ANA diversity-advertising-marketing-industry_Page_01THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE: DIVERSITY EFFORTS ARE BACKSLIDING

The ANA last week released its Diversity Report for the Advertising/Marketing Industry (2023) in partnership with the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) and SeeHer, and the results aren’t pretty. Industry DEI&B efforts are losing ground, with the report revealing that “real-time diversity for 88 client-side marketer member companies declined modestly” last year.

ANA further reports that the ethnic diversity of the advertising and marketing industries declined from 32.3 percent in 2022 to 30.8 percent in 2023—and is significantly below the 42.2 percent ethnic diversity of the U.S. population. As Bob Liodice, president and ceo at ANA, noted, although one year’s stats don’t signify a trend, “it could represent a tipping point where the industry gives up some of its hard-earned gains from the last few years.”


Black ice hockey stick and puck. Isolated in a white background. Close-up. iStock-indigolotos_ice hockey stick puck_croppedVerizon, the Official 5G Network of the National Hockey League (NHL), on Feb. 15 announced a multi-year sponsorship renewal continuing its role as the league’s Official 5G Partner, Official Wireless Services Partner and Official Mobile Edge Computing Partner in the U.S. To boot, as an Official Technology Partner for the NHL, the brand will deploy Verizon Private 5G Wireless Networks across NHL arenas to create efficiencies in game day operations that are designed to advance the sport and improve the fan experience.

Over the weekend, hockey fans got to experience Verizon’s new venue enhancements and a variety of activations at the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium. Touchpoints included a New Amsterdam Vodka NHL PreGame tailgate with games, charging stations, comfortable seats, plenty of photo ops and a chance to win prizes. By attending the NHL PreGame, Verizon customers had a shot at winning upgraded game seats in the brand’s exclusive Hotspot section, which offers heated seats, blankets and exclusive gift bags. Customers could additionally access the Hotspot Lounge on the 100 level concourse, which featured charging stations, photo moments and hot cocoa.


Feb 2024_The Pinterest Palette_Hero imageYou’ve heard of the Pinterest Predicts report that details emerging trends pulled from the social media platform, but what about the Pinterest Palette? Last week, Pinterest debuted a curated color palette inspired by its 2024 findings, with plans to update the color scheme annually based on the year’s trends (experience design mavens, take note). The brand dug deep into search terms related to color (think: “blue chrome nails”) and various categories, like interior design and fashion, then combined the learnings, which yielded five colors that are predicted to dominate in 2024: Gummy Pink, Moss Green, Mocha Brown, Desert Orange and Aqua Blue.

According to Pinterest, more than half of a billion people around the globe leverage Pinterest each month to plan what to do, try or buy next, giving the brand unique insights into what’s likely to be the next big thing. The proof? For the last four years, 80 percent of Pinterest’s predictions came true. Color us impressed.

Feb 2024_The Pinterest Palette_Desert-Orange Rich, bright and warm. This year’s orange stems from rust-inspired trends like Dirt Flirts, Groovy Nuptials and Jazz Revival.

Feb 2024_The Pinterest Palette__Moss-Green Dark olive meets lime green. Trends such as Aquatecture, Tropic Like It’s Hot and Making a Racket inspired this year’s leafy-toned green.

Image credits: Cali Vibes Festival; ANA; iStock/indigolotos; Pinterest

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Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
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