Cresco Labs, a Chicago-based cannabis company and operator of Sunnyside dispensaries, announced on Thursday that it is the first cannabis company to advertise on the leading audio streaming platform Spotify, which currently touts that it has 551 million users and 220 million subscribers globally.
“We know that Spotify is a sophisticated media platform for brand advertisers,” a spokesperson from Cresco Labs wrote in an email, calling the ability for cannabis brands to advertise on the platform “a major opportunity” to normalize cannabis use and attract new customers.
“The hope is that other platforms will follow Spotify’s lead,” the spokesperson added.
Creco’s Sunnyside ads are supported by a volume-driving paid-media campaign that includes programmatic buying, native ads, connected TV and more, the company said in a statement.
“Bright buys, every day,” one of Cresco's Sunnyside Spotify ads reads. Other ads included in the campaign include 30-second audio and in-app digital banners that bring consumers to the retailer's proprietary e-commerce platform.
According to Cresco Labs' national retail president Cory Rothschild, audio streaming services invite brands of all kinds to reach large audiences in a targeted manner.
"Spotify's platform will enable our marketing team to target our ads compliantly and profitably to our core shoppers in Illinois where we have a leading share in retail,” Rothschild added.
As Cresco Labs launches the new Sunnyside campaign and enters a partnership with Spotify, the streaming service's official brand-safety policies still lists “recreational drugs and related accessories” as “dangerous products and services” that are prohibited for in-app advertising.