Marketing Ideas of Tobacco

September has ended and our Trinkets and Trash newsletter for that month has just arrived in our mail box.  Let’s see what marketing strategies the tobacco industry has come up with.

Labor Day weekend is seen as a great time to relax as it signals the end of summer, and the only way to relax, according to the tobacco industry, is with tobacco.  The Timber Wolf advertisement, on the left, however, is a little confusing.  If you aren’t a tobacco user, you probably would not even know it was a smokeless tobacco product if the warning didn’t mention it “is not a safe alternative to cigarettes.”  The ad itself wishes the reader Happy Labor Day and states “work can wait, enjoy the quiet.”  But Timber Wolf is a smokeless product, so work doesn’t have to wait since you can put it in your mouth and go on with your workday.  Longhorn smokeless tobacco also wished users a happy day showing a fisherman on a mist-covered lake.  Apparently you need something mist-covered and a mouth of tobacco to truly enjoy yourself.  Copenhagen smokeless tobacco went to the other side and rather than displaying tranquil scenes, celebrated “the hands that hold America together” all September long.   Their ads featured men at work, and if you weren’t sure they were working, another ad featured a dirty hand with a can of Cope nearby to prove it.  Which makes us ask, are you really going to use that dirty hand to put tobacco in your mouth?  And why would you take the can out of your pocket and lay it somewhere?  According to another ad, by being a “man of Copenhagen” they would be sending you something soon, probably more coupons to keep your addiction going.

E-cigarette ads also featured the end of summer and the changing seasons with new flavors by MarkTen. The limited edition, end-of-summer flavor is Caribbean Oasis and the beginning of fall flavor is Harvest Blend.  Since they are showing colorful leaves on the ad it makes you wonder if it will have a hint of decaying leaves or a touch of burning logs in the vapor.  We were really expecting Pumpkin Spice, but that will probably be debuted in October. 

And finally, in case you have been following the Natural American Spirit issue with the brand using “natural” and “additive-free” to describe their cigarettes, you will no longer see those terms used on their cigarette packs or in advertising.  Natural American Spirit and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company however will retain “Natural” as part of their name.  They will also feature a “revised disclosure” on packs that state: “Natural American Spirit cigarettes are not safer than other cigarettes.”  The letter in its entirety is on the right.

The Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course has a section on media and marketing to teach students (and teachers) how tobacco is incorporated into our everyday lives.  You could say it is hiding in plain sight but unless you are a tobacco user, you may not even notice the ads and marketing all around you, at least according to former participants.  Teens, however, are very aware of the marketing which is why teaching them prevention will help them make informed decisions about the health effects of tobacco. Click HERE for more information on Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators.  

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