Readers of this blog are familiar with the Seattle Police Department’s excellent PR initiative to protect and serve the public by reaching out to stoners during the 2013 Hempfest celebration. The event was held after the passage of I-502, a law which made it legal to possess up to one ounce of pot in Washington.
Most of the public thought the story of how the police handed out free bags of Doritos that promoted acceptable stoner behavior to Hempfest participants would have simply had a good laugh and then fallen asleep in a bathtub with yesterday’s news. But this branding party just won’t die.
In true stoner creativity, and perhaps laziness, those same bags of Doritos have begun appearing on eBay, and are selling for up to $55 a bag. That’s right. You can buy a bag, of Doritos, from your stoner friends for $55 online. It appears that the police and the public alike believe this unprecedented attempt at outreach to a once a fringe element is a classic PR strategy. And it is.
These bags of Doritos mark a seminal moment in the public’s attitude toward marijuana and how law enforcement should approach these changing societal mores. PR experts know this shift in intellectual and emotional values can also mean a shift in monetary value, so it’s not surprising that anyone with a bag of Hempfest Doritos is hoping to cash in. Even Bob Marley was a capitalist at heart. Just look at all of those T-shirts.
Will Doritos forever be an iconic symbol of stoner food like White Castle burgers, Lombowski’s white Russians, or the Taco Bell drive-thu? Who knows, but if Doritos is half as PR savvy as the Seattle Police Department, the brand will find a way to extend this valuable and unprecedented endorsement.