Dear NORML Friends and Supporters,
But, before I announce the winners, I want to:
1) Thank the hundreds of NORML supporters who submitted a video/flash animation for consideration, acknowledge the talented top #25 contestants who made the cut for the final vote and to ALL of the winners, notably the grand prize winner!
2) I want to share with you one of the absolutely most asked questions put to NORML's staff on a daily basis, right after 'Why is marijuana still illegal after all of these years?':
Why don't I see NORML ads on TV advocating your sensible reform message?
The simple reply is, funding.
NORML's membership and donor base historically do not donate enough annually for the organization to purchase print, radio, Internet or TV advertisements. This has been the case with the organization since its inception, and vexes 99% of America's 50,000 non-profit organizations that also don't have the donated funds to purchase ad space.
A Propitious Moment For Pot
Bittersweetly, the confluence of a faltering economy and greater public acceptance of cannabis has recently created very attractive advertising opportunities, coupled with media companies' increasing willingness to accept pro-cannabis law reform ads presents organizations like NORML to place one or more of the winning ads from the contest on TV (or, popular Internet webpages).
NORML has researched the cost of placing ads in numerous cable TV markets across the country, and some of these ad packages (with minimum purchase prices from $1,200-$5,000) now offer 30 second TV spots for as little as .8 cents per ad. That is right, 8 cents per TV ad!
Examples of NORML cable TV buys:
-Cable Cannabis Blitz-
33,000, 30-second TV ads, broadcast 6AM-Midnight on cable packages during programming from ESPN, CNN, CNBC, Weather Channel, MSNBC, MTV, VH-1, BET, Animal Planet, E!, Bravo and 10 other major cable programmers for the cost of...$2,750...or approximately .08 cents/per ad! This ad package will reach an estimated 1.6 million households in 187 markets.
That is right! NORML can now purchase TV spots for only 8 cents.
-Women and Weed-
Approximately 1,500, 30-second TV ads, targeting women's programming (Oxygen, Soap, Lifetime, Style, WE, etc...) for $1,200. This ad package will reach an estimated 27.5 million households in 90 major markets. What is the cost per ad in this package?
80 cents per TV ad!
-Men and Marijuana-
Approximately 2,600, 30-second TV ads, 27.5 million households targeting men's programming (Comedy Central, ESPN, Speed, Versus, Sci-Fi, Golf Channel, etc...) for $4,900, which boils down to $1.88/per ad.
Short of the long, if NORML supporters and cannabis consumers really want to see pro-cannabis law reform ads broadcast on TV, here is the opportunity to pool your resources together with ALL you like-minded friends and family who favor alternatives to prohibition laws and the high cost of cannabis by making your tax deductible donations to the NORML Foundation's earmarked funds to purchase TV and Internet advertisement space.
'Got to get over the hump!'*
NORML's survey and polling work indicate that a strong majority of Americans support both decriminalization and patient access to medicinal cannabis, but, frustratingly as exampled in the latest Zogby polling, only a strong plurality (44%) of Americans currently support actually taxing and controlling cannabis like alcohol and tobacco products.
The change in presidential administrations, cannabis' popularity in the country, the outing of Michael Phelps, the record number of reform bills introduced in the states and the crushing economic crisis facing the country have collectively cast a great deal of focus on the question of ending cannabis prohibition portend that now is the best time in 30 years to widely broadcast NORML's longstanding message of cannabis law reform for responsible adult use.
What will it take to finally move public opinion sufficiently from tacit support for legalization to majority support? For decades some law reform advocates and communication experts have argued that advertising could be the likely missing component.
Let's find out!
We can all afford to kick down $10 to purchase 125 TV ads, or $50 for 625 ads!
Please make a tax-deductible donation to the NORML Foundation today in support of this important project.
OK...for the moment we've all been waiting for...drum roll please!
Over 6,000 online voters cast their single ballots for their top three contest submissions, to view the winners of NORML's $10,000 cash prize contest for best pro-cannabis law reform ads, click here.
Let's start a nationwide 'cannabis conversation', please donate in support of placing NORML's ads on TV and the Internet, let's get over the hump and achieve real cannabis law reforms as soon as possible.
Thanks in advance for your support and kind regards,
-Allen St. Pierre
NORML / NORML Foundation
*Ode to James Brown, the Godfather of Soul!