Guide to Cannabis & CBD Programmatic Advertising

cannabis and cbd programmatic advertising

As the industry continues to grow due to more states beginning the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, Cannabis and CBD marketing is on the rise.

Support for legal marijuana is at an all-time high of 68%. Just last week, New York State signed a bill legalizing cannabis. This makes it the 15th state in the U.S. to pass legislation legalizing possession of recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and over.

In our previous blog, we broke down the differences between Cannabis(THC) and CBD. Now we’re going to break down how advertising Cannabis and CBD on programmatic channels offers unique benefits and capabilities for marketers. 

In 2020, U.S., programmatic ad spend was projected to increase by 85%. This is because programmatic is currently the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to purchase media at scale. 

Ready to discover the benefits of each channel? Let’s dive in…

Display and Mobile Ads for Cannabis & CBD 

Display and mobile ads are the best ad format for building brand awareness. Thousands of major mainstream publishers and apps like USA Today, Huffington Post, Newsweek, and Politico already accept ads for Cannabis and CBD with many more opening their doors to the booming industry every day. 

On average, U.S. adults spend 4 hours on their mobile devices per day with 3 hours of that spent on mobile apps. This means mobile display ads are a must for any industry. Digital display ads are the bread and butter of programmatic advertising providing the greatest top-of-funnel reach for the lowest cost.

Video Pre-Roll Ads for Cannabis & CBD

Pre-roll video ads are extremely practical for marketers looking to advertise Cannabis & CBD products. Through pre-roll video, your ad will play before your users’ desired content on platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or Vimeo. Your audience will still likely be engaged, interested, and willing to sit through a brief ad to get to the content they want to see, allowing a higher probability of a user watching your ad in its entirety. 

Pre-roll ads are served on desktop sites, mobile sites, or apps that allow video ad content. One of the main benefits of pre-roll video ads is that even if a viewer skips your ad they have still been exposed to your brand, product, or service making it perfect for Cannabis and CBD marketers to get their brands noticed. 

Native Ads for Cannabis & CBD 

As the Cannabis industry continues to grow, certain stigmas still surround it. That’s where native ads come into play. Native ads blend into the content that surrounds them on each platform where they appear. When a Cannabis ad is surrounded by high-quality Non-Cannabis content, the stigma around Cannabis and CBD is reduced. 

Native advertising also excels at combating ad blindness and driving audience engagement. Consumers tend to look at native ads 53% more than display ads. This champions a huge win for Cannabis and CBD companies helping elevate brand awareness and engagement making native ads the perfect fit.

Connected TV Ads for Cannabis & CBD 

Video is the most powerful way to get your message across and is the most engaging way to reach your audience. By 2023, Connected TV households are set to grow by 82%. Nationwide, the habits of viewers have shifted and the majority of cable/satellite television subscribers have “cut the cord” and switched to CTV. Connected TV represents an up-and-coming ad format in the programmatic landscape. The benefits of CTV ads include engaged audiences, high visibility, and being a first mover to establish brand awareness and leadership.

However, there is still a slight hurdle to overcome in CTV. Acceptance for Cannabis and CBD brands on TV still face some restrictions as each network has their own standards and practices. Don’t let this get you down! Remember there was a time when hard liquor such as Captain Morgan was prohibited from being advertised on TV as well. 

The number of networks that are accepting CBD and Cannabis ads is growing by the day as more and more states continue their legalization. Since CTV is not governed by the same rules and regulations as broadcast TV ads, advertisers can reach potential new customers in the comfort of their homes through their streaming services.

As the ad industry continues to evolve and as programmatic continues to fully permeate digital advertising over the next few years, businesses that have been leveraging programmatic technology from the earliest opportunity will have a huge head start. 

*Note: Each state has its own guidelines and creative requirements for cannabis marketing. Please reach out for any additional information

Are you ready to start advertising Cannabis and CBD campaigns? Sign up here.

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