Taboo Topics become Marketing Opportunities in 2018

Tonight’s blog is going to be a spicy one. I’m talking about taboo marketing verticals that for years marketing and data providers have not touched or even allowed their data to be used in promotional efforts. The two I refer to are Sports Gambling and Hemp <cue the dramatic music>. I’m sure wherever Bill O’Reilly is tonight – he’s having visions of below at just the mention of these activities.

Reefer madness gif 2

All kidding aside, gambling and hemp based companies are popping up more and more in advertising and in our daily lives. Sites like Fanduel started this normalization of the acceptance of gambling by slyly marketing their site as a fantasy sports site, where you could win money – playing against other fans. Essentially, it was a backdoor way to make the gambling aspect look like a by-product of the Fantasy sports angle. Flash forwards to May 2018, the Supreme Court allowed states to decide if sports booking was legal – and here we are. New Jersey is the first state to get the ball rolling and even Fanduel, that Fantasy sports site, now has a sports booking operation.

The other unspoken and overlooked industry is hemp products. It’s not just hemp products, but many states like Colorado and Washington have legalized pot dispenseries/marijuana – which are doing very well in 2018. The rise of the popularity of hemp products can be attributed to the Opoid crisis that big pharmaceutical companies caused with over-prescription and not fully disclosing the addictive nature of these pain-relief pills. Many consumers, especially those under 40, are seeing hemp products, CBD, as a way to manage pain without all those nasty side effects – you know, like getting addicted and then eventually switching to heroin.

As a marketing professional, I constantly pay attention to the radio/TV advertising I see, the direct mail pieces received and ads served to me on social media and digital channels. Espn Radio runs ads for a sports book out of Jersey and on one of their highest rated shows “The Michael Kay Show” they have a weekly Thursday spot for one of the bookies to come on air and give people betting advice. If you add in the TV spots I see during NFL games, the data tells me that this is a new industry waiting to explode. The stigma of sports gambling is getting lifted and the younger consumer doesn’t see it as a “vice”, but as an extension of their already interest in fantasy sports.

Additionally, I see ads for companies selling CBD based creams and other products for joint pain and other common ailments. Hemp based homeopathic remedies are accepted as ok among the younger consumers and this too is a market where I see great expansion.

So, my marketing insight this Thursday is the marketing community needs to remove these two verticals from their do not touch list. These new companies need marketing expertise and have the resources to run multi-channel marketing programs. We, as a community, should be embracing these two new potential  revenue streams and realizing that as the world changes – new opportunities arise.

That’s it for tonight. Oh and I just heard your mom screaming down the hall…. don’t smoke weed or gamble!!!!

angry mom

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