In recent Twitter (X) news we’ve covered pretty much everything… or so we thought. Ads of the American comedy duo Cheech and Chong are currently swarming Twitter feeds in 20 states.

“Am I the only one getting carpet-bombed with Cheech and Chong chewable ads?,” one Twitter user asked. 

“My timeline is literally 50% Cheech and Chong gummy ads AT ALL TIMES. FOR WEEKS!” tweeted another. 

According to Cheech & Chong’s Global Holding’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Black, the company has been spending between $250,000 and $500,000 a month for gummy ads on Twitter since the start of the year. During months where over $500,000 was spent,  Cheech & Chong’s Global Holding would situate itself in the top 20 advertisers on Twitter as of June, according to Sensor Tower. Other names among this top 20 include Chevron, Apple and Amazon.com.

According to industry experts, the reason behind the increase in gummy ads is that competition for Twitter users’ attention is currently low. Many brands have paused their ad spending on the platform, which is rebranding as “X,” due to concerns about content moderation and Musk’s controversial tweets. 

Seeing that Twitter’s second-quarter ad revenue globally was down about 40% compared with a year earlier, it’s no surprise that Musk welcomes Cheech and Chong’s advertising. He recently tweeted a laugh-crying emoji at a meme claiming the company’s gummies were holding up Twitter’s ad revenue. Twitter only recently allowed advertising for cannabis products and services on the platform, which industry experts cited as another reason for the surge in gummy ads. Cannabis brands have increased their U.S. ad spending with Twitter more than 200% month-over-month, on average, through June since the policy update in February, according to Sensor Tower.  

Like many advertisers, Cheech & Chong’s Global set up its Twitter ad campaign so that its gummy ads target a specific demographic. That includes users over the age of 35 who follow accounts that follow Chong, Marin or both, as well as users who follow the Cheech & Chong account. 

Twitter users who have seen the gummy ads have seen them about six times on average, according to Cheech & Chong’s Global. “We aren’t controlling how they are being placed,” Black told the Wall Street Journal. “That’s the platform, not us.”

According to Jack Johnston, associate director of New York-based marketing firm Tinuiti, having a big name associated with an ad “typically does garner more engagement” especially if that person retweets it or reacts to comments users post. “They’re stimulating a viral moment,” he said. 

Cheech & Chong’s Global, based in California, spends about $10 million a year on advertising across multiple platforms and has revenue approaching $30 million annually. Its gummies are derived from hemp and have low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. These types of products were authorised at a federal level in 2018. Cheech & Chong’s Global also licences its brand to companies that sell marijuana in states where doing so is legal.

Marin and Chong, who became famous in the 1970s and 1980s for their stoner comedies, are now 77 and 85, respectively. While they are older than the average cannabis user, they’re no longer outliers. Cannabis products have become more common among middle-aged and older adults in recent years as they’ve become legal in more states. 

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