Seth Rogen was irritated with me. We’d only just begun the interview, and while he graciously responded to my questions, he was already tired of discussing his celebrity status. He was more interested in talking about how Houseplant, the firm he co-founded, is succeeding despite numerous regulatory obstacles. That success, in his opinion, has little to do with the Seth Rogen brand. “It’s not like I’m a famous person. Rogen laughed as he continued, “It’s not like Chris Evans is behind this.” “On a large scale, celebrities are at the bottom of the food chain. I’m not sure if I’m a celebrity because I’ve never appeared in a Marvel film.”
At TechCrunch Disrupt, I spoke with Rogen, CEO Mike Mohr, and chief commerce officer Haneen Davies. Houseplant debuted in March with two product categories: “House,” which refers to home products, and “Plant,” which refers to marijuana. The federal government and social media corporations regulate one, while the other is not.
“We took a different approach to [creating the brand] than everybody else,” Davies added. “I believe the combination of House and Plant will help us build a brand name that goes beyond the restrictive limits that must be adhered to while communicating cannabis.”
The strategy behind Houseplant’s Instagram presence is clear. There are two accounts in the company: one for the House and one for the Plant. One account holds the ashtrays and lighters, while the other holds the pot. The lifestyle account has twice the number of followers as the marijuana account.
The company’s home products division is also growing, and it will soon sell lamps, furniture, and other items. Why? Because these common household goods are not controlled by social media platforms, they allow the brand to convey its story freely.
“At this point, we’ve sold house items in all 50 states,” Seth Rogen revealed. “That’s us, building relationships and trust with clients in states where marijuana is still illegal.”
Davies stated, “That is the essence of our launch.” “You can talk about house goods in the same way you talk about any other product, and they’re very much tied to cannabis and a cannabis lifestyle for us. While we wait for cannabis to follow, we can build the trust of a national audience and be in many homes across the country.”
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