Cannabis. Marijuana. Dank. Skunk. Weed.
Whatever you prefer to call it, the previously controlled substance has been legal for non-medical use in Oregon since 2015.
And what goes better with said psychoactive than a crisp, refreshing beer? Deschutes hopes the answer is “nothing.”
As brands attempt to navigate this leafy legal maze and agencies pop up for the sole purpose of helping them along, the Bend- and Portland-based brewery has a new campaign from lead agency Opinionated with a somewhat simple message: Our beer embodies all those things that make Oregon uniquely weird … including marijuana.
The scenic hero spot is set to an Oregon classic in the form of “Louie Louie,” that famously incomprehensible hit by Portland garage rockers The Kingsmen.
The next ads in the campaign tie the brand more directly to “the reefer” via an unnamed Martha Stewart stand-in who explains to her excited audience that Pacific Northwesterners may indulge in a crisp Deschutes when they’re not “hitting the chronic” (or even when they’re already a few bong rips in).
You will not be surprised to learn that this domestic goddess also bakes incomparable “space cakes.”
“This campaign celebrates not only our humor and creativity but our Pacific Northwest roots. It’s a way to reaffirm and honor our heritage and ignite our future in craft beer,” said brewery founder Gary Fish.
Deschutes vp of marketing Neal Stewart said the campaign is “drawing attention to the healthy tension between craft beer and cannabis and proving that the two industries, which some may think are competitive, can play nice with each other if consumed responsibly.”
“People are going to enjoy recreational cannabis, but we want to remind them that this is still one of, if not the, best place on Earth to enjoy a beer—and Deschutes helped put the craft brewing industry on the map,” said Stewart. This sentiment keeps with a recent Adweek profile that explored how Fish has been challenging the dominance of Big Beer before “craft” was even a common category.
Opinionated, the agency founded by former Wieden + Kennedy partner and executive creative director Mark Fitzloff, won AOR duties for Deschutes late last year.
“We felt that for Deschutes to humorously call out the fact that recreational cannabis has become such a part of the region would be a brave way to assert its insider knowledge and leadership position in the Northwest,” Fitzloff said.