Snoop Dogg's viral 'giving up smoke' ad fizzled when it came to sales

Back in November, rapper Snoop Dogg had fans scratching their heads when he posted on his social media that he decided to “give up smoke.”
Snoop Dogg at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2023
Posted at 4:07 PM, Jan 17, 2024

Last year’s “Giving Up Smoke” marketing campaign featuring Snoop Dogg may have brought viral recognition to Solo Stoves, but apparently the online conversation didn’t translate into sales. 

Solo Brands, the outdoor lifestyle company behind Solo Stoves and other brands like Chubbies and Isle, announced last week its “unique marketing campaigns” did not lead to the boost in sales they had planned for. It was also announced it was “mutually” separating from CEO and President John Merris, who had been with the company since 2018. 

According to the announcement, Solo Brands’ revenue guidance for the 2023 fiscal year had been revised from $520 million to $540 million down to $490 million to $500 million. 

Back in November, rapper Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, had fans scratching their heads when he posted on his social media that he had decided to “give up smoke.” 

Since his name is more synonymous with marijuana than Willie Nelson, many couldn’t believe his decades of cannabis use would be coming to an end. 

"After much consideration and conversation with my family, I've decided to give up smoke. Please respect my privacy at this time," his initial post read. 

For days, there was endless speculation online: Was it health-related? Was it really the end of an era? Or was it just an untimely April Fools' joke? 

It turned out to be an ad campaign for Solo Stoves. 

A few days later, the 52-year-old posted a collaborative video with the brand promoting their smokeless wood-burning fire pits. 

"I have an announcement: I'm giving up smoke," Snoop said in the video. "I know what you thinking: 'Snoop, smoke is kinda your whole thing.' But I'm done with it. Done with the coughing and my clothes smelling all sticky-icky. I'm going smokeless."

Many comments praised the cleverness of the campaign. But did those commenters turn out to purchase the $300 fire pits? No, they did not. 

“Our fourth-quarter results came in below expectations as we experienced softer-than-anticipated sales in our direct channel,” said Solo Brands’ interim CFO, Andrea Tarbox. “While our unique marketing campaigns raised brand awareness of Solo Stove to an expanded and new audience of consumers, it did not lead to the sales lift that we had planned, which, combined with the increased marketing investments, negatively impacted our EBITDA.”

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