The Potential For ‘Competency P*rn’ In Cannabis

I’ve got a secret. I watch a lot of… aha got ya! I watch a lot of…

By
Jamie Bonthron
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I’ve got a secret. I watch a lot of… aha got ya! I watch a lot of…

I’ve got a secret.

I watch a lot of… aha got ya! c, from the outside looking in, are pretty boring.

Whether it’s classic Japanese wood art, Alpine cabin restorations, or pressure washer driveway cleaning – my YouTube feed is… quite weird. And banal.

But I don’t think I’m alone. In fact, you probably love watching other people be great at things too, no matter how trivial. But what in the world has that got to do with cannabis?

Adult Films

Competence porn is a trope in TV and film, whereby we, the audience, are totally sucked in by the sheer capability of the people on screen. In particular it highlights the complete cleverness of the characters, with their immaculate ten minute back-and-forths, and the fact they have so few bad ideas – they’re experts, after all.

(You’re waiting for the bit on cannabis though – I get it. Just hold on a bit longer as I drag you through the bushes of this analogous riff.)

Reality TV isn’t new, in fact it’s actually older than you think it is. Back in the days of Fred Dibnah, people tuned in not just to watch the man with steel hangers ascend old chimneys with seeming ease, but for the man himself. 

It was a mix of documentary and reality.

Much of what I, and I suspect you, tune into on social media and YouTube, is people who are great at something. You’re drawn in by the uniqueness of what they’re doing / producing / asserting, and then you begin to know them. You subscribe or follow because they are doing something great.

Because many of these sorts of videos are self filmed, you’re made to feel like you’re there with them. It’s the creation of intimacy through the lure of intrigue. 

It’s brand flippin’ building people!

Looking Trim

What can cannabis companies learn here? 

Well for starters, people seem to forget that this is cannabis. It’s supposed to be interesting. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be exciting.

Even if you’ve got an industrial product that you think is boring, I promise you it isn’t.

Last night I watched a 15 minute video on how matches are made ffs!

I, and many others, would gladly spend 8 minutes watching a machine that fills vape cartridges to see how it works without spilling a drop. 

Don’t believe me? Search ‘how it works’ on YouTube and be flooded with multiple million hit videos on the smelting of iron and the chopping of trees.

Cannabis companies could quite easily put this sort of content together. You need one or two people with a nice camera to post up in your facility and film your people doing what they do best.

That could be covering something as simple to you as your bud processing. But a viewer – a potential customer no less – can tune in to ‘Relaxing Bud Trimming 8 Hours’ or ‘Cannabis Curing Compilation’ and marvel at their very own look behind the curtain.

Cannabis might well be normal to you, but if the mess of legislation in just about every part of the world tells us anything, it’s that not everyone is in the loop.

Some people complain about the difficulty of operating on social media, the challenge of getting directly to the eyes and ears of people everywhere, and it is most definitely a problem. But with a little vision, there are opportunities out there that can help you communicate cannabis, engage people, demonstrate aptitude, and build a brand.

thermidor< is a content-led, cannabis-focused, creative agency. We work with B2B, B2C, and D2C brands to develop messaging, brand, and tone of voice, as well as create written, audio, and visual content such as blogs, whitepapers, podcasts, and event films.

Blog Author
Jamie Bonthron
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