06.14.2016
culture

Black Magic Snuck a Weed Ad Into the NBA Finals

Did an ad for growing weed just air during the NBA Finals? Probably.

A television advertisement for Black Magic Performance Hydroponics, a brand that produces a soil favored by weed growers, aired Monday, during an ABC-broadcast, NBA Finals game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

A viewer doesn't need to know much about weed to recognize that "Growers," the 30-second commercial break, was all about weed; targeted at the innovative people who grow cannabis under basically clandestine conditions.

From Leafly:

“Kimberly Chisholm, marketing leader with Hawthorne Gardening, the Port Washington, NY-based company that produces Black Magic soil products, said the ad aired once in West Coast and Rocky Mountain markets during the game last night.'We just launched the brand a couple months ago, and we were looking for a way to reach a young, male, early-adopter demographic.' Black Magic is one of the first companies to offer coco coir mix, a favorite substrate for cannabis growers, through The Home Depot. 

Though the brand is one of the first making weed moves in the television ad-buy market, it should be noted that all on-camera plants were certainly not cannabis. But the tone of the narrator, and art direction of "Growers" painted the millennial characters as sneak cultivators, with custom-made, hydroponic grow-ops. 

In Colorado, talk around the cannabis industry often sounds like discussion involving the craft beer movement, or as if it's coming from corporate board rooms––probably because it is. But perhaps, also, this Black Magic spot advances the notion that cannabis normalization means weed-friendly ads, for weed-selling companies, airing on national television, during major sporting events. 

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