Snoop Dogg's Snuffed "Give Up Smoke" Campaign Forces Fire Pit CEO to Resign

While the commercial increased Solo Stove's brand awareness, that didn't translate into actual sales of the smokeless fire pit

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jan 16, 2024

Everyone remembers where they were when Snoop Dogg took to social media to inform the masses that he had decided to "give up the smoke." It seemed as sure of a harbinger of the apocalypse as anything, until the mogul/rapper revealed that he was actually just advertising a smokeless fire pit.

Now, the CEO of Solo Brands — the company behind the Solo Stove — has resigned in the wake of the failed marketing campaign.

UPDATE (1/17, 11:39 a.m. ET): Solo Brands has shared the following statement on the matter:

Solo Brands' recent marketing campaigns drove and continue to generate exposure to new audiences, enabling us to reach previously untapped customer categories. In particular, Solo Brands considers the viral Snoop Dogg campaign extremely successful.  It inserted our Solo Stove brand into cultural conversations, dramatically increased exposure for Solo Stove and laid the groundwork for future opportunities. 

As we continue to push a marketing strategy that blends direct response marketing with brand awareness campaigns, we recognize that brand awareness campaigns have a longer-term conversion cycle. That said, we believe there is a nurturing process that has to occur for those potential new customers who are being made aware of our brand for the first time — and the continued investment in this strategy and our overall brand awareness will set us up for long-term success.

The organization shared yesterday (January 15) that former CEO John Merris had "mutually separated" from Solo Brands. As The Daily reported, Vista Outdoor CEO has taken over as president, chief executive officer and director of the board in Merris's absence.

"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," Solo Stove Interim CFO Andrea Tarbox said in a statement. "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 commercial — which, importantly, captured Snoop's first time ever roasting a marshmallow — wasn't initially seen as a failure, however; as XXL pointed out, Ad Age ranked it as No. 18 on their list of the 40 best ads of 2023.

While the rapper's presence (and the social media misdirect) as spokesman increased brand awareness for Solo Stove, which gained 60,000 new followers after the commercial premiered, that didn't translate into actual sales of the smokeless fire pit. I guess everyone already had one?

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