Trinkets and Trash is a surveillance project that keeps tabs on what the tobacco industry is doing to advertise and market its products. The report comes out at the beginning of the month and reports on the previous month’s activities. Their articles are a great way to keep up with current and future tobacco and vaping products.
November held many special days and the tobacco industry used the opportunities to provide discounts to their customers to keep them coming back. Veterans had special offers from MYLÈ vapor and Stoker’s smokeless tobacco. But Red Seal grabbed our attention by hitting on the red truck theme that has been featured so prominently in the latest trending farmhouse decor on Pinterest and other websites. Here is a sign from ebay (on the top right) that was on Pinterest. Even more interesting is that I happened upon a book jacket with this same picture. Look familiar? They also reminded customers that Thanksgiving was about being together for the holiday. Of course, if you have a lip of tobacco, you really won’t be able to taste the great flavors of the day.
And let’s not forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Juul was front and center on those specials by featuring a limited edition maroon device. The ad also shows the eight flavor pods users can purchase. We are confused because earlier in November Juul said they were going to stop selling the flavors in retail shops. Yet they come out with a limited edition device and are still promoting the flavors. Juul’s Facebook and Instagram pages were to be deactivated in mid-November. Their Twitter page will continue, and its YouTube channel will have “testimonials of former adult smokers.” By exiting social media they “can better prevent teens and non-smokers from ever becoming interested in the device.” Preventing teens from using Juul and then coming out with a “limited edition” vaping device? Doesn’t sound like they are sincere in their position on teen prevention. Other vaping devices like MarkTen also had a special going on for Black Friday. And if sucking on 28 carcinogenic chemicals is your thing, Grizzly smokeless tobacco also had their ad campaign for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday retail holiday.
Swisher Sweets had a special promotion in New Orleans during November. A special sampler of four flavored cigarillos called the Swisher Sweets Goodies 504 New Orleans Edition was available for $1 at a hip-hop concert. Swisher has ties to The Artist Project which “provides unique opportunities for artists to create, share and pursue their passion.” The brand is also sponsoring a contest where users can “enter for a chance to party in New Orleans at the NOLA Takeover concert featuring hip-hop artists. One rapper thanked Swisher for starting “The Artist Project to give back to the hip-hop community that made the brand what it is.” Swisher uses these music venues to appear like they are giving back to the community and hooks another generation of users. No doubt the NOLA Takeover concert will feature more cheaper, flavored cigarillos by Swisher Sweets.
Tobacco marketing and advertising knows how to reach that emotional attachment in its users, whether it is pictures of the great outdoors, a red truck carrying a Christmas tree, or a maroon Juul that every teen will want. The tobacco industry isn’t losing money by giving you discounts and coupons. You are keeping them in business and paying for it with your health.
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