Last Friday, a day late for 4/20, a new commercial began running on a mid-size independent TV channel in Orange County. It was for a cannabis extracts company, but it was hard to tell that if you weren’t already a dabber or vapor, and even then only if you watched very closely.
For a full 55 seconds, the new ad for Eureka Vapor could be for just about any product. Old people go for a walk in the park, veterans hang out in front of billowing American flags, two women wearing hijabs drink coffee, a one-legged athlete sprints down a track, a two-legged baseball player hits a ball in the stadium. During this vague and confusing montage, equally vague and confusing text appears: “Discover Honor… Discover Love… Discover Life… Acceptance… Passion… Freedom” etc., etc., listing basically every generic thing that people generally like, besides puppies.
For a would-be subversive commercial spot, this ad looks as bland as innocuous as they come. If you weren’t too busy being bored out of your mind by the commercial, you’d probably be confused. Is it an ad for a prescription nasal? A political candidate of either major political party? Shoes? A bank? Gatorade?
Only in the last seconds does it become clear with the words: “Discover EurekaVapor.com.” Only what exactly Eureka Vapor, an extracts company specializing in CO2-processed goods, distributing to Colorado and California, and awarded for its achievement at last year’s Hempcon, has to do with the content of that advertisement is less than clear.
Like the recent “Kendall Jenner and political protesters fight the oppressors by drinking Pepsi” ad, this commercial seems to feature just about everything and be about just about nothing, not even an extracts pen.
Of course, there’s a reason why Eureka and the ad’s creators wanted to keep weed and extracts out of the commercial: most TV stations wouldn’t air it, fearing advertising a federally banned controlled substance might jeopardize their federal broadcast licenses. So the company and the advertising firm they hired, Innovation Agency, had to find a workaround.
“We wanted to create a commercial that captures the essence of the brand,” Randall Huft, Innovation’s president and creative director told the LA Times. “Eureka stands for inclusion, acceptance and love.”
Not exactly vivid branding. And it borders on the offensive. In the comments on the YouTube page, one user wrote: “They tried to use us military and social issues to sell their products??? Not cool Eureka!!” Another wrote: “Wait…….. is this a Discover Card ad or nah??”
But maybe we’re not far off from a day when cannabis can be advertised openly on TV. When Huff was asked whether he thought that would come to pass one day, he replied with a statement just as sweeping and meaningless as his advertisement. “Certainly,” he said. “Most things in our lifetime seemed impossible just a short time ago: Equal rights for the LGBT community, gay marriages, Trump becoming president. Anything and everything is possible.”
Image: Screenshot from advertisement “Discover Eureka Vapor”