Is cannabis sexualization the future of this wonderful plant due to commercialization in this so-called modern society? The past few decades have seen the over-sexualization of many industries. Is the cannabis industry next?
Marijuana, both the culture and industry surrounding it, are growing at a rate unlike before. The current boom worldwide seems to be due to governments easing laws attached to the marijuana plant. One of the latest countries to fully legalize on a federal level through out the country is Canada. Even California for example, with its legalization of cannabis, has opened up a massive market of recreational smokers who may as of January 1st, 2018 buy their cannabis retail from certain licensed distributors. CBD laws have definitely eased up through out the country too. So will this open the door for cannabis over-sexualization?
Sex sells. That is the sad fact of the matter. No matter what the product is, it has been proven that using at least some degree of sexualization in the advertising of it will help sales. With all the talk about the cannabis industry and how it is going in the same directions as alcohol and tobacco did all those years ago.
When those markets suddenly flooded with massive companies, it was advertising that would be the tool used to set the wheat from the chaff. Much of that advertising utilized sex in their winning over of the masses. Why should cannabis be any different?
Ever since the swinging sixties, sex has been used frequently and fervently in any advertising that it could be used in. The free spirit of the era was being used to sell. Everything from cars to household products had at one point or another begun to use sex as a selling point. There was even an advertising campaign the UK that utilized the shapely rear end of a young tennis playing woman to sell milk of all things.
It was simple psychology back then. More and more was being found out through scientific research about the links between sex and buying. The first advertisements to use it predate even the sixties with the war-time pictures of pin-up girls being used to sell tobacco and alcohol.
Since those good old days, the whole advertising industry has grown. It is now one of the biggest industries in the world. Advertising is a multi-billion dollar beast that feeds itself on the consuming masses. Now, you can pick up certain well-known publications and find that over sixty percent of its pages are filled with adverts. Most of those will utilize sex in one way or another.
Some will show a good looking man or woman using the product or perhaps just sexualized images and then eventually the product. It really is big business. For Cannabis, this can be a real threat.
Advertising Effects on the Subconscious Mind
The threat lies in the fact that this method of advertising has been proven to work time and time again. Therefore when the larger companies begin to fill existing gaps in the cannabis market due to shifts in legislation, it stands to reason that they will use the same marketing strategies that got them where they are now.
They will put their advertising teams to work, those teams that will create adverts with sexy women smoking cannabis and hip young couples attending dispensaries.
The problems that may arise from this type of cannabis sexualization are the same that have been faced by the alcohol and tobacco industries amongst others. The same reasons that this type of advertising works has been seen to cause a change in the mentality towards the product that is being sold in this manner.
In the worlds of tobacco and alcohol that change can be described as happening over time. It began with the radical use of sex in their advertising. More and more the advertising executives would push the boundaries on just how sexualized these images would be.
It became more commonplace to see shockingly risque images up until they were reined in by the censors. The effect that this had was to couple the two things in people’s minds.
Having been shown these half naked images alongside the product, peoples belief is that the two go hand in hand. If you drink our product, people will want to have sex with you. If you wear our product you will find you more appealing. The psychology behind this is simple, but it is also dangerous.
Downside of Sexual Advertising
Some brands have lost out due to the over-sexualization of their industry. The wholesome family products that companies sell on the heritage behind their brand or the quality of it, these are the brands that the over-sexualization of an industry have the gravest effect on. If most products of a certain type are sold using sex then the average person will relate that product to it. Simple really. Except if people relate that product to it and you are not using sex to sell your product then you lose out.
The non-sexualised aspects of your product are not taken seriously as the culture surrounding your product has changed.
What is the Social Impact of Cannabis Over-Sexualization?
This coming sexualization of the cannabis industry, an industry that is growing by the day, has the potential to damage what has from the beginning been far more of a grassroots culture. Here is an industry that is led by a movement. A movement with a collective mind-state for the most part, and that mind-state has not been a sexualized one. Cannabis use has always been associated with love, peace and spirituality.
Cannabis over-sexualization will then have similar effects on the culture surrounding it with the introduction of the big-business companies who will no doubt be the ones to use sex in their advertisements. One of the biggest factors impacting this is social media.
Nowadays, it is common to see live feeds of women in their sexy underwear ripping a bong or dabbing live in facebook, youtube, and other forms of social media.
The effect that this will have on an industry that is so far founded on a love for quality and passion will be widespread and there is no telling quite how far reaching it will be. When the cannabis industry opens up to bigger companies with more money for advertising it will be that gap that will allow for more cannabis over-sexualization.