In our digitally dominated world, the value of in-person experiences has increased dramatically. Witness the reams of studies that generally point out that millennials would overwhelmingly rather spend money on experiences than material goods. So obviously marketers began creating experiences in order to sell more material goods.
Which brings us to the new Museum of Weed in Los Angeles.
The 30,000 square-foot space, which opened on August 3 and will run through September 29, includes interactive exhibits, art installations, historical artifacts, and more that according to organizers aims “to shed light on the tie between cannabis prohibition and racially disparate policies in hopes to drive advocacy and reform efforts.”
It’s also a marketing exercise from cannabis-focused web and mobile platform Weedmaps, created with Vice’s creative agency Virtue.
“One of Weedmaps’ driving principles is to help consumers everywhere learn about cannabis as well as how to get access to safe, high-quality, and legal cannabis products,” says Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals. “Weedmaps also has a central mission to advance cannabis legalization and ensure that those most disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs have an opportunity in the legal market. We believe the Weedmaps’ Museum of Weed furthers these goals by helping to educate people on the plant and its historic role in society.”
Of course all of this could’ve been communicated through a film or digital experience, but Virtue’s executive creative director Jonathan Santoro says that the priority here wasn’t just to get our attention.
“People’s attention spans are microscopic, and while we know how to get eyeballs through digital and video-oriented platforms, we also know consumers really do love to learn, they just don’t exactly love getting taught,” says Santoro. “We knew making a lasting impression was more important than just getting people’s attention. Therefore, a hands-on, physical, and walkable experience that educates consumers through genuinely fascinating experiences and fully immerses them in the history of the plant in all the ways the computer in your pocket can’t, to us, was the strongest direction to take.”
With tickets priced at $35, as well as a cafe and gift shop selling apparel, souvenirs, and more, it’s also one of the rare marketing efforts that generates revenue.
The one thing not for sale is IRL weed, but you already know there’s an app for that.