Martha Stewart launches advertising and marketing push for her CBD line

Martha Stewart has adapted well to the quarantine according to her own assessment. The doyenne of the good life, who has split her curfew between lush country estates, has started a TV show and published a cake-tasting cookbook.

And for her newest product, a line of CBD with Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth, she is ready to help everyday people achieve their trademark of domestic serenity. (Or at least clean up some clutter).

Stewart will respond to direct messages about home disasters such as inedible dinners and haircuts through a social media ad called "Martha on Demand". She also hands out coupons and discounts for her branded gums, oil drops and capsules to help reduce consumer chaos regarding Covid.

"The program capitalizes on the calm Martha is known for," said Steven Leung, the brand's director of marketing. "Finding your inner Martha is a very literal interpretation."

Magnet for sports, music and Hollywood

Stewart, a master at branding media and lifestyle, jumps into a category that already has a lot of names in bold. Former professional athletes like Ricky Williams and Magic Johnson, artists and musicians (Carlos Santana, Tommy Chong) and actors (Kristen Bell, Gwyneth Paltrow) have joined the CBD either as owner partners or as endorsers.

However, according to industry experts, Star Power is not necessarily synonymous with success in any of around 3,000 CBD brands on the market. (Whoopi & Maya from Whoopi Goldberg have come and gone, just to name one flameout).

"Hiring a celebrity can raise awareness and is therefore seen as a quick win," said Bethany Gomez, executive director of research firm Brightfield. "But it's an expensive business for brands, and overall the results are pretty mixed."

CBD makers who join well-known personalities can "headline, short-term boost," Gomez said. However, these alliances do not necessarily result in long-term loyalty. "Celebrities haven't changed the (CBD) industry."

According to Brightfield's data, none of the top 20 best-selling CBD brands are owned by celebrities. Still, some on this list have occasionally used famous speakers (NFL's Rob Gronkowski, for example, was at a loss for CBD Medic).

Canna-curious and CBD newbies

Stewart's line could make a name for itself, Gomez said, for targeting an older, more conservative female demo who is more likely not to be the bullseye cannabis user. Brightfield identifies these middle-aged women as "the aging sick" as consumers turning to CBD for chronic pain relief and general wellbeing.

Having a prominent spokesperson or owner "is by no means a failsafe plan in this category," Gomez said. But Stewart could include "a largely open consumer group".

Canopy is counting on it. The conglomerate, backed by US beverage conglomerate Constellation Brands, "seeks to create leadership positions in the CBD space" by targeting baby boomer women who haven't tried CBD but are already loyal to Stewart.

"We're inviting this demo, which is curious but on the fence," he said. "When products have Martha's blessings, those consumers can simply participate."

Martha in your DMs

There will be a number of marketing programs for Martha Stewart CBD, starting Wednesday with the "Martha on Demand / In Your DMs" social stunt broadcast through media outlets such as Cosmopolitan, The Skimm, Good Housekeeping and Women’s Health.

The first 500 consumers to tag Stewart on Instagram will receive a $ 45 voucher from the guru for the products and "tailored advice". Additional fans will receive promo codes for a 25% discount. (Incidentally, these tips are selected from around 70 responses Canopy's social team received from Stewart.)

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