Pro-Marijuana TV Ad Campaign Successful; More Are Planned

A note from one of America’s military contractors (and a NORML member) serving in Iraq, along with some comments I saw over the weekend on NORML’s blogs, sharply reminded me of the need to post the final results from the NORML Foundation’s ‘4/20’ nationwide TV ad campaign, as well as the fundraising results notably centered around the ever-increasing popularity of April 20 as ‘Cannabis Consumers’ Day’ around the world.
Please find below a brief report about the number of ads, geographical dispersion of the ads, networks and costs; number of new NORML members, amount of donations received, webpage traffic and media interviews.

Hello Tyler,
Thanks for supporting NORML and having a keen interest in NORML’s longstanding pro-reform advocacy efforts. Since 1970, NORML (and later, the NORML Foundation) assists the victims of cannabis prohibition as well as representing the interests and concerns of the tens of millions of Americans who responsibly consume cannabis.
THANK YOU, thank you very much for serving the US’ armed forces, especially serving in Iraq!
NORML Foundation’s TV ad campaign (and the donation meter that went with it) ended after April 20th, after nearly 8,000 TV ads were purchased with the $16,000 donated from NORML supporters such as yourself. Thanks again!
Approximately $2,000 in donations earmarked for ‘NORML TV ad campaign’ are escrowed for the next promotional ad campaign.
Your email and suggestion remind me of the need to send the membership/blog post about NORML’s ‘4/20’ ad campaign, its cost, reach and results. Please look for the report to be posted this week to NORML’s frontpage blog.
Tyler, education, legislation and litigation, none of it in support of reform is made possible without the support of stakeholders like you.
Kind regards and be safe in Iraq,
Allen St. Pierre
Executive Director
NORML/NORML Foundation
1600 K St., NW
Suite 501
Washington, D.C. 20006
2:06 AM, “Tyler D.” <> wrote:
Hey Allen,
My name is Tyler D., and I support NORML and what it stands for. I’m from Louisiana, the land of constriction, and I’m currently in Iraq. I’m sending money to NORML, and buying things like my hemp daypack, tee shirts, and others. I send emails to the folks back home to be active, as well as the Governor, senators, and representatives. I want to know how far away we are from our goal of hitting mainstream commercials for NORML? I mean, it sounds all good and well, but give me an idea… Can you put a temperature bulb on the site somewhere that shows how close we actually are to seeing sense on television? I’d love to see advertisements go mainstream, as would a lot of others, but if there’s a large void, it would give me more incentive to give. If there wasn’t much left, then I would be excited to be that close. It’s a win/win. Just a thought…
Peace sir,
Tyler D.

Over 500 NORML supporters donated slightly more than $16,000 (avg. donation was $32) in support of running the winning 60 second ad from NORML’s 2008 online ad contest.
The advertising media used by the campaign combined low cost national cable and Ohio News Network. For added exposure element a PR bonus blitz was distributed via
Initially, it was difficult t get approval to run NORML’s PSA/Commercial. Ohio News Network was quick to be first but other media outlets passed. Finally, a national media vendor with homes in every market in the country, gave the go ahead.
The National Cable Homes buy (April 20-April 22, 2009) reached homes with ‘smart cableboxes’, which tracks the precise networks and advertising spots watched. NORML only paid for the audience reached and who stayed tuned to the ads.
-97.5% of people who watched the stay tuned in.
-Average length of time they viewed was 59.2 seconds
NORML’s ad buyers viewed the PSA as being very effective, and for the very high percentage of the public who watched the ad, they apparently could not turn away.
The Numbers
7,700 spots ran across 210 markets over three days, in each market, 38 spots ran on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, CNN-Headline News, FX, Spike and Fuse.
-A total of 2,428,858 total viewing households were reached
-A total of 2,394,690 actual viewers watched the commercials live
-34, 168 additional viewers recorded the networks and watched the commercials within 7 days
-75 spots ran in 1.5 million homes on the Ohio News Network from April 23-April 28.
NORML’s PR package reached 30,000 journalists, 30,000 websites and 225,000 RSS subscribers, resulting in over 136,313 viewed packages, and 2,118 media outlets tracked the story.
The avg. cost was $2.07 per 60 second TV ad

Because of the popularity of ‘4/20’ in general, the fact that the New York Times covered the event (via the University of Colorado NORML chapter’s National Conference on Cannabis Law Reform); Spike, G4 and Comedy Central all aired ‘4/20’ specials; and pro-cannabis law reform rallies around the United States, made for NORML’s launch of the first ever nationwide TV ad campaign in support of ending cannabis prohibition a fortuitous one!
To wit, the largest number of citizens to step up and be counted as bona fide supporters of cannabis law reform (and NORML), over the course a 24-48 hour period, ever happened this ‘4/20’ with over 1,765 new supporters joining the organization; and these newly-minted NORML members donated over $11,500.
Additionally, but to no surprise to NORML’s staff (or ISP provider), NORML’s already popular webpage received a substantial spike in webpage and podcast traffic during ‘4/20’.

NORML and NORML Foundation plan on running more TV, Internet and Radio advertisement campaigns in the second half of 2009.
Stay tune to learn more and how you and your like-minded friends & family can help bring these needed public service advertisements in support of re-legalizing cannabis to the public.

0 thoughts

  1. I gotta ask. Why are the rastas so apolitical? Would it not behoove them to push for change?
    [Editor’s note: You’ll need to confer to Rasta literature and the community. If there is a ‘political’ rally where music is played, Rastas will play as part of the event, and will in and of themselves be political (think Marley, and his children), but donate to a political cause, sign a fundraising letter, testify at a subcommittee, etc…are arenas most practicing Rastas don’t want to engage in as they appear to see any organized body outside of Rasta culture’s loose configuration (ie, governments, corporations, organizations, political parties, etc…) as potentially oppressive to the Rastas.]

  2. Radio advertisement sounds like a good idea especially in areas that are currently voting on marijuana issues. On the radio recently there has been an ad about the tax on radio stations or something, but they give the representatives phone numbers. Now these congress men/women are now going back to look into what they have done (a little late now). But my point is that these advertisements got to enough people to call in to change the mind of their representatives. I’m sure there are hundreds or thousands of people who would take the time to call in telling their representatives to vote for legalization but these people probably don’t even know there is a bill being voted on.

  3. [Editor’s note: Responding to inquiries (or delusions) is now a sign of paranoia?….OK. Maybe your engineer forgot to run an ad every so often, but NORML ran almost 8,000 ads…8,000 radio engineers did not forget to run the ad as already has been demonstrated by commentators to this very string indicating they saw the ad.]
    So now the editor is going to resort to name calling?
    Look buddy,I didn’t come here to start trouble, just to make an observation that OTHER POSTERS to this thread have ALSO MADE!!! You just don’t like the fact that I and others are reporting what we did not see. We have no ulterior motive. Our only motive is to check the facts and make sure that the money you spent on these ads was well spent. If some engineer who happens to be a prohibitionist sympathizer did not run your ads, then this could explain why they were not seen by so many people. And it would be an example on money not well spent, but rather stolen.
    We already know that the government will do anything to keep cannbis illegal, so why is this idea so far fetched?
    Now You say 8,000 ads and admit maybe a few engineers forgot to run the ad. You prove my point while attacking me, a pot smoker who is ON YOUR SIDE.
    You owe me an apology.
    [Editor’s note: ‘Prohibitionist engineers’??? OK…..
    You sow seeds of paranoia and delusion on NORML’s comments section when you keep insisting that an ad campaign that ran didn’t run. The opposite was claimed regarding 8,000 ‘forgetful’ engineers….that there were NOT 8,000 forgetful engineers, and that the ad campaign ran the entire length of the buy.
    And now you enter into another realm of paranoia when you suggest that the government stopped the ad buys from occurring. This kind of paranoia and unfounded fear of the government is likely one of the reasons so few cannabis consumers are involved in law reform efforts. Because if the general public were to read the level of fear and loathing from some commentators on NORML’s blogs, believing for a moment that TV stations steal money and don’t run ads, that the government stops TV stations from running ads, they’d rightly be to scared and wary to get involved in their own liberation. And all for not because your fears expressed, in this forum, are unfounded and not true.]


  5. You know, I was the 6th poster – not the 1st, the 6th poster who said they did not see the ads and you made a point of making a personal attack on me. How old are you, anyway? I’m 50. Probably been smoking since before you were born.
    Cannabis has been prohibited for 75 years yet alcohol prohibition lasted just 13 years. NORML has been around for the past 30 years and still cannabis remains illegal.
    Where I come from, if you don’t get the job done in a year you get fired. I don’t know how you have managed to last 30 years especially when you attack the people on your own side.
    Look, I’m the messenger, not the message. Don’t shoot the messenger. I provided you with facts from personal experience (former local TV radio and TV host) and reasonable doubt (refuted only by you) and you chose to make personal attacks on me. Your problem is you need someone like me to light a fire under your asses (NORML) so that it wont take another 30 years for cannabis to become legal!
    Finally, If you are going to be so naive to think that the government does not or will not play dirty in order to keep cannabis illegal, then you are a hinderance to our cause and should resign your position.
    [Editor’s note: If you can believe this, the folks who volunteer, intern and work for NORML hardly need a shoot-from-the-hip blog commentator to ‘light a fire under’ anyone’s asses. Further, your insinuation that NORML is to blame for cannabis prohibition lasting longer than alcohol prohibition is insulting and misleading. You live in PA… cannabis is illegal in that state because its citizens both allow and largely embrace prohibition laws (and keep electing prohibitionist policymakers), not because a non-profit, grassroots group has ‘failed’.
    >Finally, If you are going to be so naive to think that the government does not or will not >play dirty in order to keep cannabis illegal, then you are a hinderance to our cause and >should resign your position.
    Again, this anti-government paranoia you infuse into your communications is both misplaced and dampens down the enthusiasm of others who recognize the government is us–the citizens–and we can be as free as we want to be…as soon as we want to be free. Clearly the US government has opposed cannabis law reforms, but that does not mean they overtly ‘play dirty’ or necessarily manipulate the level of the playing field.
    Cannabis consumers certainly, and to a degree the 20-40 pro-reform groups that have come and gone since the 1970s, have not done enough to end cannabis prohibition, and with little to no interference from the government.]

  6. Editor, If the government is US then why are WE inposing laws that WE dont agree with?(just look at the bills they are passing now without reading them) I say to you…WE the government have been hyjacked! Its just a matter of time before the rest of WE realize this and do something, I just hope its not too long or too late.

  7. Mark,Glenolden,PA…and…Editor
    Come on guys…please…no distension in the ranks. If prohibs are monitoring this blog…which I will bet my left nut they are…I’ll bet they’re getting a kick out of it. Don’t get me wrong…I’m an individualist
    …say what you will…I sure will listen. You’ve both been there…you know there’s nothing as old as yesterday’s news…and by the way…a little paranoia is good…it keeps you on your toes.
    51 non-General Jake
    The Rastas have a religious defense…and…”that’s all they need.” Same church…different pew. I’m sure they avoid…with good conscience…mixing politics and religion as much as possible. When you’re in the saddle…”you’ve got the rains.”

  8. I portrayed the representative in this video. I have for over 40 years been a participant in the pleasurable benefits of cannabis and will continue to be. A close family member has fortunately moved to California and is a medical marijuana card holder. I have had a couple of legal incidents in my life regarding weed and they’ve all been minor and they’ve all been bs. Decriminalization has been a long time coming and we are almost there. Please help and support the cause. The NORML organization is a positive one that will finally help to bring about change. Thank you all for your support.


  10. I’m a newcomer to this site. I’ve been aware of the existence of NORML since 1972. I just want an address to send donations(monetary) to.

  11. Sorry, I just scrolled down and found your address. You can expect donations from me ad infinitum! I don’t have a LOT of discretionary income, but I am now and always will be a supporter. BTW I’ve been a casual toker since 1971.
    Thanx for your time,
    Keep up the good work.

  12. I wish I had some energy today.
    I’d go out and weed my garden or something like that.
    I just looked up ‘stigma’ flower part.
    ….mark of disgrace is ‘stigmata’…what Jesus suffered in the palms of His Hands And Feet And Head And Ribcage…Amen.

  13. Praise good finally a pro marijuana commercial has aired! Let the public know the truth about the holy plant!
    Please do more commercials!

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