Snoop Doggs ‘Giving Up Smoke’ Campaign For Smokeless Fire Pit Brand Reportedly Flopped, CEO Who Recruited Rapper Fired From Company
Hip Hop icon Snoop Dogg’s controversial “giving up smoke” campaign was reportedly great for marketing, but not so much for sales.
According to a recent report, revenue for the product was nowhere near what the company estimated despite all of the brand awareness, ultimately leading to the CEO’s termination.
If you recall, a few months back Snoop Dogg, real name Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., made headlines for misleading the world into believing he was giving up marijuana, which ended up actually just being a clever marketing campaign for a smokeless fire pit. Reportedly, John Merris – the President and CEO who led the Solo company for 5 years – was the one who championed the campaign. He reportedly reached out to the musician’s brand manager Nick Adler telling him:
“We think it’d be really fun if we got Snoop to endorse it and say he went smokeless,”
Though Adler was reportedly weary of the idea, reports state that the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” artist was all in, but left the final decision to his lawyers. Adler reportedly stated he was hesitant because he didn’t think the campaign would go smoothly. He reasoned that even if Snoop did post about giving up smoke, there was no guarantee he’d stay off social media without a joint in his hand. He reportedly stated in an interview about the campaign:
“My initial reaction was this is not gonna work. It’s a big ask. Even if we make this statement, he may smoke, like, 15 minutes after posting it. He didn’t make the promise at that point that he was actually going to refrain from smoking for four days on Instagram.”
In the end, Snoop was, in fact, successful at convincing the public that he’d given up one of his favorite pastimes until the product reveal came. A few days after his initial post, Solo aired their commercial starring the entertainer, revealing the only smoke he was giving up was the smoke around a fire pit. The partnership garnered mixed reactions, as some seemed to have felt like the PR stunt was “genius,” as Adler also stated, though some felt duped by the entire ordeal.
Overall, the product was widely talked about, leading Adler and others to believe it was a success in the end. Unfortunately, the hype did not translate into sales. Solo’s interim CEO Andrea Tarbox, who took over following Merris‘ departure, reportedly explained the situation, stating:
“While our unique marketing campaigns raised brand awareness of Solo Stove to an expanded and new audience of consumers, it did not lead to the sales lift that we had planned, which, combined with the increased marketing investments, negatively impacted our EBITDA.”
“We believe there is a significant opportunity for us to build awareness and that these new campaigns will expand our reach and benefit our brands over the long term.”
The report notes that Snoop’s compensation for the endorsement has not been shared publicly. Additionally, Ad Age reportedly gave the campaign a No. 18 ranking for the 2023 year. It does not appear that Snoop nor his brand manager have made any comments about the situation at this time.
What were your thoughts about Snoop Dogg’s giving up smoke campaign? Tell us in the comments below!