No smoke without fire: Snoop needs a new business manager

Well, we smelled a rat when Snoop Dogg announced he was giving up “smoke” during the week, assuming it was a ploy to sell some vape or edible. It turns out the connection is far more tenuous: he is instead shilling a smoke-free fire pit.

Yeah, Snoop is in the fire game. It’s part of a new collaboration with Solo Stove, a Texan home and outdoor lifestyle brand, who gleefully announced in a press release they had convinced “Snoop Dogg, the most famous smoker on the planet, to give up smoke.”

As Solo Stove’s official ‘smokesman’ (a punny title that actually implies the opposite of the intended effect), Snoop shared his deep — and definitely not-newfound — love of sitting by a fire pit without “coughing and his clothes smelling all sticky icky.”

Luckily, thanks to Solo Stove, now he can!

Here’s his official quote: “I love a good fire outside but the smoke was too much. Solo Stove fixed fire and took out the smoke. They changed the game and now I’m excited to spread the love and stay warm with my friends and family.”

That certainly sounds like Snoop.

As we pointed out over the weekend, such fun Punk’d-style stunts serve to further erode whatever little trust people have in brands, the media, and celebrity endorsements. Snoop Dogg has a fairly high approval rating for someone who was once charged with first-degree murder and claimed to have successfully ran a mobile brothel. Now, he is in danger of becoming the dog who cried wolf.

Every major news outlet in the world picked the story up (try to find one that didn’t), people debated what it meant about their own marijuana intake, and because it plays so perfectly into our headline-driven culture, most people would have heard the news, giggled at the intended irony, and kept living their lives. I haven’t looked too deeply into this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had a real-world stock market impact on any publicly listed cannabis companies that he is involved in. When your spokes-dog distances himself from your product, it isn’t a good look. Did he clue in all these investors and business partners to his troll-lol-lol-ing? I doubt it.

Snoop’s giving up of smoke even inspired ill-considered pieces like this one in Forbes, listing the ‘takeaways’ for business leaders looking to learn from Snoop’s apparent rebranding, such as “the importance of prioritising well-being” and that “brands should be dynamic entities that can shift their messaging, products, or services in response to changes in societal values, consumer preferences, or industry trends.” Indeed.

While this reveal is fun — albeit deeply unsatisfying — most people won’t hear about it.

Because, at the end of the day, the new headline is Snoop Dogg Paid To Endorse Fire Pit. Not so click-baity. When they undoubtedly see Snoop blazing up on the latest Bieber clip or wherever he pops up next, they’ll go, “Oh, I thought he gave up weed, didn’t he?”, to which there will be no reply, and they will immediately put it out of their mind.

Lest you think this is the most mismatched endorsement Snoop has ever partaken in, may I introduce his fine work with Norton Antivirus.

That’s Snoop holding a copy of Norton 360. You may not be aware of this, but in 2010, Snoop was so incensed by the rise in cybercrime that he decided to launch the ‘Hack Is Wack’ competition, in which entrants can send through a two-minute rap about cybercrime.

“Entries can rap about topics including hacking, identity theft, computer viruses, and why it’s important to protect yourself from online crime,” Norton explained, clearly having never heard a rap song before.

In all likelihood, this latest cheap stunt won’t hurt Snoop, given he has built his entire career on cheap stunts. There’s a new endorsement with Petco, his Menulog run, and even an Air New Zealand jingle, in which Snoop raps “From Cali to Kiwi, we do it big in the New Z” – which only rhymes if you don’t pronounce ‘Z’ correctly.

There’s nothing he won’t take money to rap about, no cameo performance he won’t phone in for cash (see this terrible guest rap on a Jess Mauboy single about shoes), and because of this, Snoop Dogg is bulletproof. Because of this, he is also a unicorn.

But, as countless children have been told over the past thirty years – just because Snoop Dogg does it, doesn’t mean that you should.


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