- Recess, a brand of seltzer infused with cannabidiol (CBD), is offering to pay cash to Venmo users who mention the brand on Instagram from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, according to details shared with Mobile Marketer.
- For each repost, direct message or Instagram Story that shows a Recess tag and sale information, the brand will send $3 to the user's Venmo account for helping with its customer acquisition efforts around the busy holiday shopping season.
- Recess developed the campaign, which kicks off on Nov. 29, to get around Instagram's ban on selling hemp-related products, per its announcement of the campaign.
Recess' clever mobile effort highlights the difficulties of marketing CBD products and is an innovative way to sidestep advertising regulations on Facebook-owned platforms, which don't accept ads for the items. The social media giant last summer relaxed its ban on CBD products to allow the sales of topical products like lotions and balms, but maintained its restriction on hemp-laced foods and beverages, Digiday reported. Recess' campaign may urge people to share user-generated content (UGC) that boosts publicity among people tuning in to social chatter.
By teaming with Venmo, Recess follows brands like Chipotle and Pepsi that have distributed rewards directly to consumers via the social payment app. In October, the person-to-person payment app unveiled its own rewards program that gave Venmo cardholders 5% cash back at Target, Papa John's, Chevron and Sephora as well as 4% cash back at Sam's Club and Dunkin'.
The market for products that contain CBD is set to grow 49% a year to exceed $20 billion by 2024, per a BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research forecast cited by Forbes. However, CBD products face regulatory scrutiny from various federal and state agencies amid concerns about product safety. The Food and Drug Administration this week said it can't conclude that CBD is safe for use in human or animal food. The company issued warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling CBD products. The agency also updated its consumer update to warn of possible side effects from CBD, including liver toxicity, interactions with other drugs and changes in mood, among other concerns.