Pro-Marijuana TV Ad Campaign Successful; More Are Planned

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director June 29, 2009

    A note from one of America’s military contractors (and a NORML member) serving in Iraq, along with some comments I saw over the weekend on NORML’s blogs, sharply reminded me of the need to post the final results from the NORML Foundation’s ‘4/20’ nationwide TV ad campaign, as well as the fundraising results notably centered around the ever-increasing popularity of April 20 as ‘Cannabis Consumers’ Day’ around the world.

    Please find below a brief report about the number of ads, geographical dispersion of the ads, networks and costs; number of new NORML members, amount of donations received, webpage traffic and media interviews.

    Hello Tyler,

    Thanks for supporting NORML and having a keen interest in NORML’s longstanding pro-reform advocacy efforts. Since 1970, NORML (and later, the NORML Foundation) assists the victims of cannabis prohibition as well as representing the interests and concerns of the tens of millions of Americans who responsibly consume cannabis.

    THANK YOU, thank you very much for serving the US’ armed forces, especially serving in Iraq!

    NORML Foundation’s TV ad campaign (and the donation meter that went with it) ended after April 20th, after nearly 8,000 TV ads were purchased with the $16,000 donated from NORML supporters such as yourself. Thanks again!

    Approximately $2,000 in donations earmarked for ‘NORML TV ad campaign’ are escrowed for the next promotional ad campaign.

    Your email and suggestion remind me of the need to send the membership/blog post about NORML’s ‘4/20’ ad campaign, its cost, reach and results. Please look for the report to be posted this week to NORML’s frontpage blog.

    Tyler, education, legislation and litigation, none of it in support of reform is made possible without the support of stakeholders like you.

    Kind regards and be safe in Iraq,

    Allen St. Pierre
    Executive Director

    NORML/NORML Foundation
    1600 K St., NW
    Suite 501
    Washington, D.C. 20006


    2:06 AM, “Tyler D.” <tyler.XX@yahoo.com> wrote:
    Hey Allen,

    My name is Tyler D., and I support NORML and what it stands for. I’m from Louisiana, the land of constriction, and I’m currently in Iraq. I’m sending money to NORML, and buying things like my hemp daypack, tee shirts, and others. I send emails to the folks back home to be active, as well as the Governor, senators, and representatives. I want to know how far away we are from our goal of hitting mainstream commercials for NORML? I mean, it sounds all good and well, but give me an idea… Can you put a temperature bulb on the site somewhere that shows how close we actually are to seeing sense on television? I’d love to see advertisements go mainstream, as would a lot of others, but if there’s a large void, it would give me more incentive to give. If there wasn’t much left, then I would be excited to be that close. It’s a win/win. Just a thought…

    Peace sir,
    Tyler D.

    Over 500 NORML supporters donated slightly more than $16,000 (avg. donation was $32) in support of running the winning 60 second ad from NORML’s 2008 online ad contest.

    The advertising media used by the campaign combined low cost national cable and Ohio News Network. For added exposure element a PR bonus blitz was distributed via PRweb.com.

    Initially, it was difficult t get approval to run NORML’s PSA/Commercial. Ohio News Network was quick to be first but other media outlets passed. Finally, a national media vendor with homes in every market in the country, gave the go ahead.

    The National Cable Homes buy (April 20-April 22, 2009) reached homes with ‘smart cableboxes’, which tracks the precise networks and advertising spots watched. NORML only paid for the audience reached and who stayed tuned to the ads.

    -97.5% of people who watched the stay tuned in.

    -Average length of time they viewed was 59.2 seconds

    NORML’s ad buyers viewed the PSA as being very effective, and for the very high percentage of the public who watched the ad, they apparently could not turn away.

    The Numbers

    7,700 spots ran across 210 markets over three days, in each market, 38 spots ran on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, CNN-Headline News, FX, Spike and Fuse.

    -A total of 2,428,858 total viewing households were reached

    -A total of 2,394,690 actual viewers watched the commercials live

    -34, 168 additional viewers recorded the networks and watched the commercials within 7 days

    -75 spots ran in 1.5 million homes on the Ohio News Network from April 23-April 28.

    NORML’s PR package reached 30,000 journalists, 30,000 websites and 225,000 RSS subscribers, resulting in over 136,313 viewed packages, and 2,118 media outlets tracked the story.

    The avg. cost was $2.07 per 60 second TV ad


    Because of the popularity of ‘4/20’ in general, the fact that the New York Times covered the event (via the University of Colorado NORML chapter’s National Conference on Cannabis Law Reform); Spike, G4 and Comedy Central all aired ‘4/20’ specials; and pro-cannabis law reform rallies around the United States, made for NORML’s launch of the first ever nationwide TV ad campaign in support of ending cannabis prohibition a fortuitous one!

    To wit, the largest number of citizens to step up and be counted as bona fide supporters of cannabis law reform (and NORML), over the course a 24-48 hour period, ever happened this ‘4/20’ with over 1,765 new supporters joining the organization; and these newly-minted NORML members donated over $11,500.

    Additionally, but to no surprise to NORML’s staff (or ISP provider), NORML’s already popular webpage received a substantial spike in webpage and podcast traffic during ‘4/20’.

    Notice NORML and High Time webpages spike, while other cannabis-oriented webpages remained flat

    Notice NORML and High Time webpages spike, while other cannabis-oriented webpages remained flat (Data by Alexa.com)

    NORML and NORML Foundation plan on running more TV, Internet and Radio advertisement campaigns in the second half of 2009.

    Stay tune to learn more and how you and your like-minded friends & family can help bring these needed public service advertisements in support of re-legalizing cannabis to the public.

    72 responses to “Pro-Marijuana TV Ad Campaign Successful; More Are Planned”

    1. Becky says:

      Thanks for posting this…I have been wondering about the results as well.

    2. Cliff says:

      This is great! Please keep ringing the bells of freedom. I believe in the P. T. Barnum effect, “raise a tent and they will come”. It only takes two percent to change a majority and once change starts it rarely returns without the intended result. It is no longer yes we can it is now Yes WE WILL!
      Ty NORML (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    3. alt says:

      Awesome. Glad to see the results…time to keep it goin!

    4. Trent says:

      Good work! Lets keep a constant stream of truth going to the masses. Everyone with Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter needs to add pro cannabis videos to your websites. One I like is
      continue to tweet, blog, and bulliton!

    5. Tom says:

      I hope the part where she was giggling at the end was taken out.

      [Editor’s note: The final version that appeared in the cable TV buy had the giggle edited out.]

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    8. Cutlery says:

      A small tear dropped from my eye when I saw this commercial, and another when I read this post.
      Cannabis prohibition reform is real. We’re almost there.

    9. Hey Tyler D, I salute you brother. I hate our government but I love our troops. My best friend was with the 101st until last year. Thanks Tyler for preserving and fighting for ideals that keep my three little girls and hot spanish wife safe. To all our troops you deserve a fuckin medal. Thanks to all Soldiers of Freedom.

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