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If you know you know, and if you don’t, BIC will spell it out for you: Lighters like its EZ Reach model are tailor made for fireplaces, fondue pots, tiki torches and “more.” And by “more,” the brand means weed.
To drive home that unsubtle point, BIC has added country music icon Willie Nelson to a talent lineup in which Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart have been starring since 2021, featuring in some of the most successful campaigns in the brand’s history.
In new work from agency Doner CX, Nelson appears as a good-natured kleptomaniac who has snatched a lighter from his pal Snoop and a candle from Martha. Put those two items together, and the mischievous Nelson can enjoy his “favorite herb scent,” he tells his famous pals in the video conference-style ad.
Deepening its wink-wink ties to cannabis culture, BIC will collaborate with the global superstar through 2023. Timing for the Nelson cameo is key: The 89-year-old artist has been nominated for four Grammy awards—the event airs on CBS on Feb. 5—and plans to drop a new album soon.
Nelson, an outspoken proponent of federal legalization, shepherds a legacy cannabis brand called Willie’s Reserve, along with a sibling CBD-infused product line called Willie’s Remedy.
Snoop, meantime, recently launched Death Row Cannabis, an offshoot of the groundbreaking Death Row Records label he now owns, adding to his longtime investments in the space. The first pre-roll products dropped this month at Southern California dispensaries.
‘Significant sales spikes’
BIC has leaned into Snoop’s well-known pot-centric persona since 2021’s “Pass It,” continuing through last year’s “Turkey.” The ads paired the ganjapreneur with his close friend Stewart in campaigns that appeared in a wide range of media.
Stewart’s social posts showcasing the ads have gone viral; her TikTok clip of their Times Square billboard got 2.5 million views, and her Instagram reel generated 604,000 plays and 18,000 shares.
BIC has logged “significant sales spikes” during the partnership, per the brand, and late last year saw EZ Reach grow more than 17% in volume in New York alone. Upward of 25,000 consumers opted in to receive brand information for a year-end Advent calendar sweepstakes, which drew 116,000 entries.
Snoop and Martha have established a “playful dynamic,” according to Katty Pien, vice president of marketing for BIC North America, in a statement. The brand aims to “expand the campaign’s appeal by welcoming Willie’s fans.”
BIC’s new effort, dubbed “Most Borrowed Lighter,” will get distribution across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, programmatic platforms, connected TV and out of home, per U.S. media agency of record Merkley + Partners.