This morning a tweet caught my eye. Well, the whole thread was interesting. It started with the claim Recess, a producer of a CBD infused drink, spent zero dollars on paid marketing.
At first I thought, right that makes sense. As a CBD product you cannot advertise on platforms like Google or Facebook. It’s against their terms & conditions to advertise cannabis products. Even the stuff you don’t get high on!
So how is Recess building their brand, while they cannot pay for advertisement? We can all learn from this playbook and see where to apply with the launch of any product, not just cannabis or CBD products.
From these tweets by Adam, I started to research the campaign Recess had put together.
Although Recess might not had bought any ad space directly on Google or Facebook, the way the company introduced their CBD infused drink in pop-up locations in the center of New York, would have cost a lot of money.
The effects are, off course, that the brand is featured in hundreds of Instagram images, which could be valued at millions of “free” advertising. The best thing is, this kind of endorsements are usually more effective AND these don’t go against the terms & conditions of the ad platforms.
Here is a good example of how Recess gets free publicity on the Gotham magazine website, primarily due to the beautiful design of the space. I can only imagine the craziness of all the Instagram influencers standing in line to get a picture taken with a free product placement of a CBD infused drink by Recess.
What can you learn from this? Thinking out of the box to get free publicity can help you to build an interest in your product. With coverage in The New York Times, Forbes & Fast Company and more, the Recess brand is quickly gaining in brand awareness and recall.
- Build beautiful pop-up locations in New York city where there is a lot of foot traffic
- Open up the locations for people to enter, relax & chill, try out the product
- While they are there, encourage people to take a lot of pictures and post on social media
- Have PR firms post stories about the success of their Instagram campaign
The campaign is generating hundreds of pictures people share for free, generating thousands, if not millions in “free” publicity.
The press coverage give the Recess brand a certain social-proof and authority in the vertical of CBD products. But let’s not fool ourselves that the brand is being build organically with no marketing budgets. The pop-up locations and the PR firm don’t work for free!
As quoted in an article, this tells it all:
Recess has shunned traditional advertising, relying on Instagram and word of mouth on the internet to raise awareness about the brand.