Snoop Dogg’s ‘Give Up Smoke’ ad for Solo Stove was a viral sensation, but after leading to no substantial revenue increase, the company is firing CEO John Merris.
Snoop Dogg’s “Give Up Smoke” ad for Solo Stove was a viral success, but the company didn’t see any significant revenue increase — and coupled with the cost of snagging Snoop in the first place, Solo Brands is now firing its CEO responsible, John Merris.
“While our unique marketing campaigns raised brand awareness of Solo Stove to an expanded and new audience of consumers, it did not lead to the sales lift that we had planned, which, combined with the increased marketing investments, negatively impacted our EBITDA,” said interim CFO Andrea Tarbox. “We believe there is a significant opportunity for us to build awareness and that these new campaigns will expand our reach and benefit our brands over the long term.”
The ad featuring Snoop was quick to go viral on social media, but more so for the confusion it caused than for the product he was advertising. Snoop told fans in a tongue-in-cheek post that he was “giving up smoke,” explaining that he was “done with it. Done with the coughing and my clothes smelling all sticky-icky. I’m going smokeless.”
More focused on the implication that he might actually be giving up cannabis than the smokeless fireplace for which the ad was made in the first place, fans and media outlets alike seemed to miss the point.
As a result, Solo Brands had to adjust its financial expectations in 2023, anticipating lower revenue — and ousting Merris in 2024. Christopher Metz, former Vista Outdoor CEO, will step in as the company’s president, CEO, and director of the board, effective as of Monday, January 15. So viral advertising works to get word out—but driving sales? That’s another matter entirely.