By thesanfranciscoegotist / /
For NorCal Cannabis, their tagline “strong roots, bright future,” is something they take seriously. Based in Northern California, the company leans into the region’s (and its own) history in a brand film created and produced by agency Bonfire Labs.
“NorCal came to us to create a campaign about their heritage and strong roots in Northern California,” Chris Weldon, Bonfire Lab’s Head of Creative & Development, says. “The ask was basically to tell the company’s heritage story and therefore their brand story, and to do so in an honest way, not shying away from the simple truth that the people behind this rapidly growing company were in the business of weed long before it was legal. Their outlaw and grey-market past are in fact what forms the foundation of the first part of their ‘strong roots, bright future’ tagline. The primary audience is investors, but at this stage in the cannabis market, branding is critical and this piece is an opportunity for NorCal to differentiate themselves by embracing their rich Northern California heritage and the region’s outsize role in normalizing cannabis.”
The heritage film is just one component to the comprehensive branding campaign that includes print, social, outdoor billboards, digital ads and sales collateral.
“Rather than approaching this as a traditional spot, distilling a marketing strategy into a creative concept, we came at this story as brand documentarians,” Weldon adds. “The points of departure for our creative development were hour-long interviews with each of the founders, discovering the very personal stories of the history of the company. That unique mix of first-person narrative and (and sometimes unexpected) descriptions of the business gave us a firm foundation for understanding the brand. From there, it was a much clearer path to develop the vignettes we wanted to create and the core refrain of the anthem, ‘We we’re here’. Weaving the two together introduces the brand’s story and since that’s the true story of the people behind the brand, it can engage viewers in a way that traditional ads just can’t.”