Just Say Yes

Police & Thieves

✹ ✹ ✹

A Denver-based cannabis dispensary was undergoing an ownership change, and were looking for a complete rebrand. With “Police & Thieves” they’d settled on an evocative — and potentially misunderstood — new name, but needed help with pretty much everything else.


The New York-based design firm Practical People brought me on as creative director to develop a simple strategy and messaging campaign that embraced the bold cultural implications of the name, while positioning the brand to represent something more than just marijuana.


The brand also made a radio ad buy months before, and I needed to come up with something before the deal expired. Since the legacy of the drug war was top of mind from my research, I knew there must be an inaugural speech from the policy’s chief architects: Nancy and Ronald Reagan. And if there was, it would be public domain, so we could use it — and low-key abuse it — free of charge.

We blanketed the market, running the spot 80 times a week across two Denver stations for four weeks. As the local defacto brand launch, the spot drove new customers into Police & Thieves’ recently relaunched locations and created lasting awareness.