With legal marijuana now a fixture in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment tasked us with empowering all Coloradans to act responsibly when it comes to retail marijuana. The goal is to educate those who choose to use on safe and legal consumption of marijuana, provide resources and inspiration to prevent underage use and help pregnant or breastfeeding women understand the risks associated with marijuana use.
We created “Responsibility Grows Here,” a brand platform for the public education initiative consisting of four separate educational campaigns, each targeting a specific audience. Because most of the retail marijuana laws are widely known after 4 years of awareness messaging, these campaigns focused on changing specific behaviors such as safe storage, public use and the like.
The youth-focused campaign, called “Find Your Moment,” features advertisements that portray real Colorado youth engaging in the activities they love most, with messaging about how marijuana can get in their way. For the user-focused campaign, we created a fictional spokesperson, “Meg the Budtender,” who talks to Colorado adult residents and tourists through a variety of mediums about safe storage, appropriate places to use and not use marijuana, and the difference between smoking marijuana and consuming edibles. A third campaign, called “Your Words Have Power,” reaches out to trusted adults, such as parents, coaches and teachers, reiterating the importance of their voices and the impact they have on young peoples’ decisions to not use marijuana. Finally, a new mom-focused campaign promotes educational messages on the negative health effects of using marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Beyond the paid campaign, we received earned media coverage in print, broadcast, online and social media. The campaign is an integral part of the responsible adoption of retail marijuana.