Why 2021 will see 420’s biggest rollout yet

February 17, 2021

There’s an opportunity for brands across all consumer categories to connect with new and existing consumers on the latest holiday to enter the mainstream.

Why 2021 will see 420’s biggest rollout yet

This April is set to see the biggest 420 in US history. And there are three key reasons why. 

Recreational Legalization

2020 was the year cannabis came of age. Four more states voted to legalize recreational cannabis which brings the population count of Americans already or about to be able to access recreational cannabis to over 111 million – roughly one-third of the total population. 

Cultural Normalization

Around ten years ago, a picture of Miley Cyrus carrying cannabis paraphernalia circulated, creating a scandal for her PR team and sending shockwaves across American households. Today, you’ll see the star on talk shows openly discussing her consumption habits and no one bats an eyelid. Thanks to new investment and awareness driven by some of today’s biggest cultural icons, such as Jay Z, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Martha Stewert, cannabis is no longer taboo. Shifting perceptions mean cannabis is now something to be celebrated on a day like 420, rather than something to be criticized of. 

Essential Recognition

Cannabis has become essential to consumers’ everyday lives. Cannabis and CBD are consumed by people of all lifestyles and life stages throughout the day from the CBD moisturizer they apply in the morning to the edible they take to help them sleep at night. The essential designation of cannabis businesses during the onset of the pandemic has brought a long-overdue recognition of and legitimacy to cannabis and its consumers.

Observing the connection between these shifts gives a general idea of how Americans are embracing cannabis and CBD. And if the results of the last major industry shopping event, Green Wednesday, are any indication to go by, 420 2021 is on an unprecedented growth track to be the biggest yet. Last year, the day saw a whopping 350% increase in cannabis sales and marketing engagement go through the roof. Fyllo campaign insights showed that Green Wednesday 2020 ads drove engagement over ten times the campaign average. 

420 is an exciting time not only for cannabis brands but also for mainstream brands committed to connecting with new consumers. And this year won’t be the first time they’ve created campaigns aimed at cannabis and CBD consumers. Here are a few examples of winning creative 420-holiday campaigns from previous years:


Lyft has maintained its market share against Uber during the rideshare boom, largely thanks to its commitment to creativity. A brand with that much perseverance and forethought did of course take the jump early into 420 marketing to stand out against their competition. In 2018, Lyft offered a $4.20 credit on a single ride in Colorado and in select cities in the U.S. and Canada to help their customers celebrate their day safely. 

Ben & Jerry’s

It’s no secret that Ben & Jerry’s embraced cannabis-related marketing earlier than most.  2019, their 420 campaign went somewhere no one else dared – the partner route. Ben & Jerry’s joined forces with a San Francisco Bay Area cannabis retailer to offer customers who placed delivery orders the day before and the day of 420 a free pint of their famous (and extremely fitting) Half Baked. 


Every year, the QSR category sees a rise in hungrier-than-usual customers on 420, so it’s no wonder food delivery platforms are tapping into the opportunity. Known for their pop-culture edge, Postmates has run various successful 420 campaigns in the past, which have included a Munchies Menu social contest, and 420 themed free-delivery coupons and Zoom backgrounds last year. 

From strategic promotional strategies to witty social campaigns, there’s an opportunity for brands across all consumer categories to connect with new and existing consumers on the latest holiday to enter the mainstream. What could participation look like for you?  

To learn more about rolling out a 420 audience strategy with Fyllo, fill out the contact form below. 

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