Meet the First Creative Agency Dedicated to US Marijuana Legalisation
On April 20, 2016 (aka 420 Day) a lot of people smoked pot. It’s also the day that the first ever creative agency solely focused on marijuana legalisation, Green Point Creative, launched.
Led by Howard Bowler, who is also the Founder/President of audio post studio HOBO, New York, Green Point is working with a broad range of advocacy groups on a variety of television, radio and web ads targeting states where decriminalisation and legalisation are on the ballot. Additionally, the company continues to self-produce PSAs under its ‘End Prohibition Now’ campaign and has added former music exec Jon Mackey as its Managing Director.
Last year alone, 700,000 people were arrested on marijuana charges in the US. “It makes no sense,” says Howard, who launched the company to provide needed creative marketing support to organisations like Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with Howard to find out more about the company’s fruition, and its hopes and goals for future drug laws in the USA.
LBB> Sum up Green Point Creative for us?
HB> Green Point is a creative content agency currently tackling the problems of harsh drug policy facing the United States today.
LBB> What inspired you to launch it?
HB> A family member was arrested last year on a possession charge even though he physically had no marijuana on him at the time. Throughout the whole overly complicated legal process I began to do some research on my own and discovered that not only is the War on Drugs a fraud, it is a war against minorities and the poor. Nothing more, nothing less.
LBB> How much did you know about the matter prior to the event that inspired you to launch it?
HB> I knew next to nothing prior to doing research after his arrest.
LBB> What were the most surprising things you learned when researching?
HB> The most shocking thing to me was that the Nixon administration knew that marijuana had few negative affects on the body. His own commission issued the most comprehensive study to date on the subject, called the Shafer Report. Included in the report is the recommendation to legalise marijuana for adult use. Nixon threw the report away.
LBB> What are you aiming to achieve?
HB> We are aiming to help dismantle the drug war piece by piece with our content. We want to "hit it right, square in the puss" (as Nixon says). For us this is a human rights issue, and what we’re trying to do is bring awareness to the fact that the drug war is really a political war accelerated by an administration determined to stifle dissent.
LBB> It’s a new venture for you in that you’re offering full creative services, as opposed to audio - as you do with HOBO. How are you finding that experience?
HB> That's right, Green Point is a content agency. We found that the group at HOBO is made up of very diverse creative talent. Whether it be writing or composing, editing etc., we all occupy a creative niche. Green Point has opened up a way for members of the company to express powerful ideas, ones that we create and produce internally. In audio post there is room for creativity, but a lot of it is technical. Green Point is an outlet that allows us to shape the project from concept to execution. We've also been gratified by the acceptance and enthusiasm for our creative work by others in this field. They are glad to have a professional operation helping to shape the message. Plus we’ve formed creative alliances with other companies that share our belief in this issue.
LBB> It’s interesting because it reflects the way creative roles are blending and evolving in modern day advertising. Would you agree with that?
HB> Absolutely. If you look at ad agency models, they tend to build in house production units for their creative. We started from the other direction as an audio post company and now expanding into creative content. It’s a very fluid and exciting time.
LBB> How does Green Point collaborate with HOBO?
HB> HOBO does all of the audio work for Green Point. All of our spots are connected and created right in our studios here at HOBO so really the two are almost like sister companies.
LBB> Has Green Point and the work you do evolved since the launch of the company?
HB> Yes. We've gone from smaller radio spots and short PSAs, to long form commercial spots and informative new media content.
LBB> What’s coming next for you guys?
HB> We have a couple of exciting projects coming in the next few months. The main goal is to continue de-stigmatising marijuana. Shedding that stoner image has always been a huge goal for us. Other than that it’s about meeting the right people. You never know what’s next in a budding industry such as this – pun intended.
LBB> Any parting thoughts?
HB> Green Point is growing because we've turned passion to action. The division is built on an important concept: instead of cursing the wind, build a sail. It's the simplest and one of the most powerful tools of business, frequently overlooked. We're glad to have found ours and look forward to sharing more.
Category: Corporate and social , Social