My official advertising headshot Photo Courtesy: Justin Johnson Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me where you are from? Where are you now? What did you want to be when you (grew) up? Do you have a mentor? Who is that? Justin Johnson=JJ: I grew up in Washington state, spending most of my youth in Spokane, which…
Warren Bobrow=WB: Please inform me where you are from? Where are you now? What did you wish to be when you (grew) up? Do you have a mentor? Who is that?
Justin Johnson=JJ: I grew up in Washington state, spending most of my youth in Spokane, which is pretty rural, a lot closer to Idaho and Montana than Seattle.
Consumed with TV commercials from an early age, I attended Washington State University with the objective of ending up being an imaginative director at a New York advertisement company.
After graduating top of my class, I presumed no firm could withstand me and attempted a transfer to New york city with my buddy to pursue the dream. It led to a week of travelling in between Manhattan and Dobbs Ferryboat, where we slept head to toe on a bed mattress in a hallway, simply to interview for tasks with salaries listed below the poverty line. Dejected, we both concurred the New York dream would have to come later in life.
I ultimately wound up in Seattle, where I landed a job at WONGDOODY, a highly embellished creative agency I idolized in college. While my goal was constantly to be a “creative,” my mix of writing capability, tactical thinking, and digital smart got me rapidly acknowledged by Michael Hoffman, our head of business advancement and one of my earliest coaches.
In a previous life, Michael was accountable for the launch of a little sneaker called the Air Jordan 1 with then novice Michael Jordan and a reasonably unknown Spike Lee. Michael Hoffman himself didn’t stand much taller than 5 feet, however he was a huge to me. He died last year, however I was quite fortunate to have him as a manager and good example. He set the structure for much of my expert success, mentor me how to lead with enthusiasm, compassion, and a dedication to excellence. He also taught that mentorship was a 2 way roadway, and that I had a lot to use.
Within a couple years under Michael I was promoted to manage company advancement for our office in Los Angeles, where my gratitude for cannabis blossomed, and social media started to ruin the conventional firm model. As TELEVISION ad budgets dried up in 2008, my role changed from pursuing brand-new company to developing competence in brand-new services like web analytics, seo, social content development, and early iterations of Facebook and Google marketing that dominate spending plans today.
I eventually left WONGDOODY in 2011 to sign up with Lunchbox, where I ‘d oversee online entertainment initiatives in between Walmart and Unilever, varying from branded video with Slash to interviews with Kevin Hart about his new comedy unique. This experience in music and movie eventually landed me back to New York, where I would lead social strategy for American Express’ top quality entertainment initiatives at Digitas starting in2012 I’ve been in New york city ever since, likewise spending four years leading business advancement at Engine Group (formerly Deep Focus) and three years leading marketing at tech start-up Bublup, before venturing out on my own.
Today I invest my days building BudsFeed, promoting for the rights of cannabis customers, and speaking with brands and startups.
WB: Please tell me about your business? What is your six and twelve-month objective? What barriers stand in your way? How do you expect removing them?
JJ: BudsFeed.com is a site that surface areas the best new cannabis associated products through the power of community.
Every Monday we celebrate the “Leading 5 Seeds,” based upon community upvotes, including those products throughout our site, newsletter, and social content. We also deal with brand names on more considerable content partnerships, consisting of blog posts, initial animations, item demo videos, and features in our initial web series, “Buds Unboxing.”
We spent late 2019 and early 2020 focused on listening to early users, tweaking the experience, and building functions that motivated engagement. We also concentrated on constructing a brand name that is helpful, enjoyable, and develops extremely shareable content across platforms. Everything we create and share is inspired by things users seed on BudsFeed– the neighborhood is the heartbeat of the business.
In the next 6 months, it’s all about development and continued enhancement in the BudsFeed user experience.
12 months from now, I hope that BudsFeed will belong to every cannabis-related brand name’s item launch strategy.
The biggest challenge for BudsFeed right now is awareness, but that is something you can just change with an excellent strategy and time or cash. As a bootstrapped startup, especially one in marijuana, investing money is not the most intelligent path to awareness. It just takes time, education, and constant execution of the little things that make individuals enjoy their experience with the platform. We’ll continue to make it through obstacles like we have more than the last year– keeping our head down, our ears open, and working hard.
WB: What about stigmas? Do you delight in marijuana?
JJ: I’ve taken in marijuana almost daily given that I was 18- years-old, with a couple of length breaks in between. I’m traditionally a flower guy, although I take pleasure in the benefit vape pens, and have grown an entire brand-new gratitude for edibles given that delving into the industry. As somebody who delights in the highs of THC products, I’m not a substantial customer of CBD, however I do discover it works wonders topically for things like swelling. If you discover yourself too high, a good cast can also help bring you back to earth.
Having spent more than a decade at marketing agencies in Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York, I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of like-minded people when it comes to cannabis. Others have grown more remote, feeling uncomfortable having a public association with the marijuana market, however I believe the preconception is fading fast.
One of the biggest difficulties I’ve experienced as a marijuana surrounding organisation– and I’m not alone– is a lack of quality paid advertising channels offered. While I used to count Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms as official partners of my company, the majority of make it near impossible to get cannabis-related advertisements approved. These platforms are missing out on numerous millions of marketing dollars each year due to blanket policies based upon U.S. federal law, and it’s regrettable for both sides. Even 100%legal CBD brand names struggle to efficiently advertise.
What it comes down to is an absence of education at the highest levels.
We hope BudsFeed can do its part to end the preconception and assistance cannabis associated brands construct awareness, even when other social platforms won’t.
WB: Do you prepare? What is your favorite thing to prepare?
JJ: I actually take pleasure in cooking and invested most of my teenage years operating in restaurants, where I found out enough to be harmful in the kitchen.
My preferred thing to prepare is brunch. I feel like breakfast food is generally scrumptious and something I can make in mass for friends and family.
While I like cooking, I ‘d practically always prefer to dine out.
WB: What is your passion?
JJ: I’ve constantly been consumed with creating experiences that connect individuals, specifically online.
Going back to my childhood, long before Giphy, I was constantly producing animated GIF websites that I would share with other kids in chat rooms. Even into my mid 20’s I was consumed with platforms like Tumblr that enabled me to develop meme blogs that might garner a response from countless people overnight.
Expertly I turned this passion and curiosity into developing digital home entertainment experiences for huge brands, and belonged to a lot of firsts in social networks marketing. I learned a lot about constructing a brand in the digital age from these experiences, and much more about the crossway of neighborhood, material, and innovation working with the similarity Facebook and YouTube.
Today I use that passion and all of my knowings into structure BudsFeed, a place I hope everyone can feel welcome linking over a mutual gratitude for cannabis-related products, services, and content.