Ask anyone to describe the advertorial world in this day and age; you’ll most likely hear the television hit series “Mad Men” pulled into the conversation. That show chronicled the industry’s prime throughout the Sixties. It portrayed larger-than-life characters and the authoritative positioning of the creative marketing teams in a capitalistic society. It gave a fictional account of an era defined by the likes of the godfathers of copywriting such as Ogilvy, Sugarman, Halbert, Mather, Bird, and Burnett. Those copywriters’ advertising tactics rocked the foundation of capitalism and ushered America into the materialistic society we have today.
But since that time, the advertorial world has changed. With the internet at our fingertips, a brand new medium became available to market products. And different marketing strategies became the focus of internet-savvy businesses. Lately, the advertorial industry has turned to digital advertising as its main focal point. And it’s easy to understand the reason. There are billions of users on social media platforms. Millions of possible prospects are on platforms like Facebook or Twitter. In 2020, almost half the population of the world had an account on at least one of the social media apps. Plus, everyone searches Google to find the answers to their queries.
Recently, social media companies have slowly started allowing items to get advertised on their platforms that were previously banned. Kratom and CBD products are part of that list. But the American Kratom Association (AKA) went one step further and created a television advertorial campaign this week.
Last week, the AKA announced it had engineered and filmed an entire set of ten different television commercials about kratom products to be aired over several primetime networks. We’re not talking about small, independent television networks. Those commercials are currently running on channels like CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. That’s no small feat. With an estimated 28.5 million viewers checking in to watch shows on the major networks, that’s a significant number in terms of an audience. Think of how many of those viewers have never heard of kratom. A vast majority of the primetime audience consists of the older generations that have yet to cut the cord to their cable television service. And out of those people, most have likely never heard of kratom. We’re talking about millions of possible people that the AKA can finally persuade them to understand the valuable benefits of taking kratom products.
And with the 2020 Presidential election underway, more people are tuning in to primetime network television for their news during the election cycle. And that gives the kratom community a chance to be front and center while political discourse commences.
Besides reaching a televised audience, the AKA is orchestrating an advertorial campaign on social media, too. Each of those video advertisements will be the focus of their Google Ads, Facebook, and YouTube online campaign. And those social media platforms reach billions of users. So the number of people the AKA can potentially influence in the next few months is an incalculable number.
Each of the videos uses a different person to tell the audience how kratom improved their lifestyles. Every one of the people was all dealt a terrible hand of cards in life. But each emotional tale manages to touch the hearts of the viewers.
For example, we have the story of Jessica Ryan, who suffered through a car accident that left her with chronic, debilitating pain. She forwent surgery. But she was prescribed different narcotics to manage the pain. However, she was afraid of addiction. So she started searching for alternative pain management online and found kratom. She was reluctant at first. But she started using the products, and it made her feel fantastic and alive again. Kratom gave her life back.
Another one of the ads showcases the story of David Dasilma, a decorated military veteran of the Army. He sustained several injuries as a soldier: head, foot, and spine injuries. David states that doctors ended up prescribing him seven different types of opioids to combat his pain. But those drugs placed a mental fog in his brain, changing his personality. For the most part, David couldn’t even function on them. He even states he felt like a drug addict when he took those prescriptions. David ends the video by telling the audience that kratom is a lifesaver, a miracle, and a wonder plant. And he pleads with the viewers to contact their legislators to make sure safe kratom is accessible to the people that need it most.
The beauty behind the commercials the AKA created is it used average Americans to briefly tell their stories on camera to the audience. The videos never pushed a particular company, so they weren’t trying to sell any kratom products to customers. Instead, the advertisements were educational and informed the public about the kratom plant and its benefits.
Now, with kratom marketing in America, no vendors can advertise kratom as a drug. And that’s because kratom isn’t one. It’s a natural plant with therapeutic benefits. But like most natural, herbal remedies, some of the plant’s properties verge into treatment territory due to its medicinal characteristics. But by portraying kratom users that tell their stories to the public, the videos rely on the anecdotal evidence supplied by those individuals instead of trying to argue any medical claims. Even though there are ample studies that suggest kratom can potentially assist with anxiety or depression, kratom advertisements must steer clear from such language when directly marketing the products. But letting kratom consumers give an account of how kratom allowed them to get their lives back was the best strategy to pursue. And it played out wonderfully.
Even Curt Bramble, the Utah State Senator from the 16th District, makes an appearance on a few of the commercials touting his support for the plant and the kratom industry. And as the chief sponsor of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) in Utah passed in 2019, the Republican politician is well advised to speak on such matters.
Another thing of interest is the AKA has a new website up that it’s promoting. The website is protectkratom.org. The website is designed as a political outreach platform, getting constituents in touch with their proper elected representatives to tell them to support federal and state kratom legislation. Most of the information on it links back to the AKA’s regular site, but more content will be added at a later date.
But the television advertorials and Facebook campaign are tremendous expenditures for the non-profit organization. According to the AKA, the entire campaign costs close to a million dollars. That’s not chump change. But they went into the coffers to spend on the endeavor because of the impact it will make—both publicly and politically. So the financial burden took its toll.
Keeping kratom products legal and available to the public takes time, effort, dedication, and a lot of financial support. The AKA works overtime to make sure all kratom consumers have access to a plant that federal agencies want to ban from our country. And it makes sure we can get it from reliable and reputable sources. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all benefit from the hard work and effort that goes on behind the scenes. And we should all try to give something back to the community that continually goes above and beyond for us. So any money that you can donate to the AKA would go a long way to protect kratom—even over the airwaves.