Throughout my career, I’ve had a lot of favorite clients and projects. However, dancing down the historic streets of Annapolis to Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It” behind a GIANT smoking joint at the Pride Parade was definitely a highlight!

Many have asked what possessed us to build a 12-foot joint for the Pride parade. That’s a fair question. It comes down to being a little outrageous (on purpose) and knowing when and how to push the envelope in a way that benefits and strengthens a brand's identity. 

The lifestyle apparel company, Crabcakes & Cannabis® was conceived with a simple mission to spread joy and create community among Marylanders who share a love of Cannabis. It’s a company with a fun-spirited identity that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is unapologetic in its pursuit to find and enhance the joy in life. 

Getting to this point of having a clear and concise brand identity is a process— and one that should be prioritized. When developing a brand, our goal is to understand its personality clearly enough to determine what that brand might say in a situation, what it would do, and how it would act. When a customer can relate a brand to a distinct personality, it becomes easier for them to identify with the brand, ultimately creating brand recognition and loyalty (the ultimate goal in marketing). 

At Brand Joint, we believe in pushing the creative boundaries as long as it’s done in an authentic way that considers the brand’s personality first and foremost. So when Crabcakes & Cannabis® signed up to participate in the Annapolis Pride Parade, we knew we were going to approach the project in a wildly outrageous way to make people laugh—aligning with the company’s mission of spreading joy. 

In today’s overstimulated world, it’s become more challenging to break through the noise in ways that feel authentic to a brand’s personality. Consider how valuable it is to strengthen a company’s personality through actions, not just words. But, what you should never do is be outrageous just for the sake of getting attention. It has to be done strategically to benefit the brand. 

Once you identify an opportunity to be strategically outrageous, don't let the fear of offending some people deter you. Be smart about it, but be bold. By having a clear understanding of your audience, you can trust that the right people, the people you want to reach, will appreciate what you’re putting out there. It’s with this mentality that we set out to build a 12-foot joint for the Crabcakes & Cannabis® Pride parade float. 

As brand designers, this amazingly successful project affirmed our belief that as long as we remain true and authentic to a brand, we have the creative freedom to take risks and be a little outrageous. This message rings especially true at the Pride Parade: Disregard the haters and proudly be authentically you!

We started with a freehand sketch of Buddy on a rainbow joint, and after a couple of logistical meetings, we had a loose plan that was largely led by our team’s enthusiasm.
What we built was even better than we expected, and the day of the parade was an absolute blast. We joined like-minded individuals to show our support of both cannabis legalization and LGBTQ+ issues while proudly walking/dancing in the Pride parade.