"Like sweet sticky-icky raining down from Mother Mary Jane."
Kiva Confections, a maker of pot-infused chocolates, celebrates the global 4/20 cannabis holiday today with such unexpected lines in an eye-catching spot developed with Biscuit Filmworks directing duo Joaquin & Lalou.
With frisky narration by voice artist Jamie Hill, the :75 combines humor and education—we learn much about the product's creation—to gently subvert the safe approach category players often take in their advertising:
Other highlights include a bleeped F-bomb (Kiva's plants are "f-ing gorgeous!"), and this plug for production techniques: "We plunge the plant into ice-cold water, and nothing else—them we shake the living hell out of it."
Of course, cannabis companies often talk up their ingredients and craftsmanship, but Kiva's approach feels like a breath of fresh air. (Well, funky, intoxicating air, at any rate.)
"We were planning to launch it on 4/20 for quite some time, much before the lockdown," Kiva executive creative director Kevin Thomson tells Muse. "We wanted to elevate cannabis out of the shadows and move beyond the tired bro culture that can surround the industry."
The goal, he says, "was to follow the plant on its journey from farm to infusion. But this couldn't simply be a look under the hood. It needed to tell a story and be infused with a little bit of magic."
As for Hill's narration running over beauty shots of Kiva's plants and candy-making processes, "we wanted this to feel different," Thomson says, "to feel refined and sophisticated, but also playful. After all, we are talking about edibles here. I think her voice and tone really captured that vibe."
Asked about marketing pot products amid at the current crisis, he says: "Pandemic or not, cannabis has a lot to offer, and I believe more companies should be getting their messages out there. They should be telling their stories and focusing on useful, people-centric innovations that will help them build their future today. And as for right now, I think cannabis companies have a unique opportunity to come through all of this even stronger, assuming they put their efforts in the right place and put people first."
Recent work reflecting this approach includes Serra's visually dynamic take on its users blissful states of mind and Thrive Cannabis Marketplace's outbreak-specific ad about alleviating anxiety in uncertain times.
Brand: Kiva Confections
Creative Director: Kevin Thomson
Producer: Mark Tobin
Factory Production Manager: Jon Zaglin
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Joaquin & Lalou
Partner / Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Producer: Lalou Dammond
Heads of Production: Mercedes Allen-Sarria, Rachel Glaub
Editorial: 1606 Studio
Editor: Brian Lagerhausen
Executive Producer: Jon Ettinger
Post Production: Ntropic
Executive Head of Production: Luke Watson