All Smoke and Mirrors: Inside the Clever Marketing Trick Snoop Dogg Pulled off and Broke the Internet

Snoop Dogg is such a trickster. Recently the rapper and pop culture icon announced that he had stopped smoking. The announcement spread on social media platforms and other artists vowed to follow suit. 

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 03: Snoop Dogg attends the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

“After much consideration & conversation with my family, I’ve decided to give up smoke. Please respect my privacy at this time,” he posted on Instagram and X. To say his followers — and there are a lot; 83 million Instagram followers and 20 million on Twitter — were shocked would be an understatement.

Snoop Dogg, who is worth an estimated $160 million, has long been associated with marijuana use. In his early career, Snoop Dogg was prominently featured on Dr. Dre’s album, “Chronic.” Throughout his career as an artist and public figure Snoop Dogg has shared his love of marijuana. And in 2015, Snoop Dogg partnered with Canopy Growth Corporation to launch Leafs by Snoop, a cannabis brand. 

So when Snoop Dogg made his initial announcement, a flood of media outlets covered the announcement. Page Six shared the news but also included fans’ skepticism concerning its validity. Vibe followed suit, including the disbelievers and those in support of Snoop Dogg’s declaration. 

Fellow hip-hop artist Meek Mill followed suit. “Ima go to Dubai and completely stop smoking … ima follow snoop, my doctor said I got a lil bit emphysema in a chest if I don’t stop smoking it cuts my lifeline in half, I was addicted to the nicotine and this new weed got too many chemicals and too risky to play with my mental!” Mill wrote on X.

But it seems Snoop Dogg’s announcement was all ruse, as days later he clarified what he meant by not smoking. 

All Smoke and Mirrors

“I’m giving up smoke. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Snoop smoke is kind of your whole thing,’ but I’m done with it,” Snoop Dogg posted on X. “I’m done with the coughing, and my clothes smelling all sticky icky. I’m gonna smokeless. Solo Stove, fix five. They take out the smoke. Clever.”

Snoop Dogg, it seems, was actually promoting a campaign for Solo Steve’s new smokeless fire pit range. The campaign was created by The Martin agency and includes several promotional videos featuring Snoop Dogg roasting marshmallows and pushing “The Snoop Stove,” merchandise that is “hot enough to make the Doggfather go smokeless.” 

It’s been dubbed the best ad of the year, and the ad that broke the internet.

According to the Martin Agency’s associate creative director, Allison Apperson, Solo product had a target audience of people in their mid-30s and only a 7 percent awareness and the company wanted to broaden its appeal — and the ad agency came up with the idea of using Snoop.

“This was an idea that happened later in the game,” says Apperson of the brainstorming session the Martin team went through to come with the ad campaign.

When asked by AdWeek about Snoop not the being most brand safe, Martin’ senior copywriter, Chase Zreet, begged to differ.

“Anyone who thinks Snoop is not a brand safe ambassador should just turn on their television for five minutes,” he said. Zreet and then rattled off a list of brands Snoop has been tapped as a celeb spokesman: “Petco, Sketchers, Corona.”

Zreet noted that when Solo was pitched the Snoop idea it “caught fire within their own halls.”

“We’re stoked to have a product so good, it even inspired Snoop to go smokeless. As the most popular smokeless fire pit in the world, Solo Stove is all about bringing people together and creating a vibe that encourages you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your time with friends and family. Snoop, like Solo, is about good moments, and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more people to the Solo Stove family,” said John Merris, CEO of Solo Brands, in a press release.

This is not the first corporate promotion that Snoop Dogg has participated in as a pitchman. Other brands such as Grubhub, Corona, Skechers, and Dunkin Donuts, are just a few 

Forbes reported that in 2014 Snoop raked in $10 million from partnerships with companies ranging from Hot Pockets to Airbnb.

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