Cannaray 'starts a revolution' in U.K.'s first major CBD ad

Campaign from startup agency BigSmall stars TV host Claudia Winkleman

Published On
Aug 23, 2021

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European cannabis company Cannaray is making a major push into the U.K. market with a TV campaign promoting its CBD products as revolutionary. 

The spot, which marks the first major brand campaign for a CBD company in the U.K., stars Claudia Winkleman, one of the country's top TV presenters and host of "Stricly Come Dancing," who has become a brand ambassador after using the products herself. It  features Winkleman explaining that when Cannaray asked her to "lead the CBD revolution," she imagined “marching through a forest, wearing a ridiculous outfit” and shouting “CBD for the people!” There's a cinematic "War and Peace" style recreation of this scenario (including Winkleman combing her trademark fringe while sitting on a horse) before we cut to the presenter on a sofa, admitting that then she realized they just wanted people to try the product. The spot was directed by director Benjamin Green (who won an Emmy for his work with James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke") via MindsEye.

The campaignhas been created by BigSmall, a brand strategy and creative startup London agency co-owned by Ben Cleaver, former managing director of Bluemarlin New York, Matt Edwards, the former CEO at WCRS/Engine and Tom Evans, former creative director at  WCRS/Engine.  As well as the TV campaign, BigSmall has developed Cannaray’s visual identity, packaging design and outdoor posters.

Media planning and buying through Goodstuff will target “CBD considerers” to encourage people to try the products, which are available in major supermarkets. Cannaray's product range includes CBD Oil Drops for day and night, capsules, gummies and muscle balm.

“Every revolution needs a leader, and Cannaray is stepping up to lead the UK’s CBD revolution and help millions of new people to try CBD for the first time," said Tim Clarke, chief marketing officer at Cannaray, in a statement. "The category potential is clear – CBD sales exceed $10bn in the U.S. – but U.K. growth isn’t guaranteed. It needs trusted brands and high impact advertising – and we’re excited to be leading the charge with Cannaray and Claudia Winkleman.”

“Taking a new brand onto TV is always a dream brief for us, and even more so when the category itself is so nascent," added BigSmall's Evans. "Claudia being Claudia, her improv skills, willingness to ride a horse for the first time in her life and passion for Cannaray made this project a joy to work on.”

While Winkleman is the first well-known U.K. star to features in a CBD campaign, in the U.S., "Frozen" star Kristen Bell has appeared in humorous ads for her own brand, Happy Dance, created by Wieden+Kennedy, while several other celebrities including Martha Stewart have promoted their own CBD lines.


Aug 23, 2021
Client :
Agency :
Strategy Partner :
Ben Cleaver
Creative Partner :
Tom Evans
Managing Partner :
Matt Edwards
Creative Director :
Will Flack
Agency Producer :
Tracy McCassey
Production Company :
Director :
Benjamin Green
Director of Photography :
Benedict Spence
Production Company Producer :
Jonny Kight
Post Production House :
Time Based Arts
Editing House :
Editor :
Charlie Moreton
Sound Studio :
String & Tins
Media Agency :
Managing Partner :
Laura Moorcraft
Business Director :
Izzy Rhys-Davis
Group Planning Director :
Alice Kinoulty
Group Strategy Director :
Malin Herrstrom
Planning Executive :
Will Tate
Chief Marketing Officer :
Tim Clarke
Head of Digital & Comms :
Jessica Mills

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