Parents of the 80s had it good. They could smoke to their heart’s content without the moral dilemma brought on by pesky tobacco advertising label-warnings, they could say they didn’t know smoking could harm those around them, and they could tell their kids that the epic six minute Peter Stuyvesant commercial at the cinema was the main feature and drag them off home after it had played. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Now it’s just not so. You have to smoke in designated areas only, fearing for your health outside shopping centres while smoking in the freezing cold, or, possibly worse, having to sit in a horribly stuffy smoker’s room. I mean, it’s just not fair at all. The world has changed for the smoker and tobacco advertising. How to communicate with them – even more so!
Tobacco giants won’t go down without a fight and so have embraced the new online era. Until legislation matches pace with the ever changing forum of mobile and online, it’s open season. The words “can I bum a smoke?” are painful to utter for any self-respecting inhaler. It’s a bum to have to ask and it’s definitely not something any smoker wants to hear. The Miami Ad School used this sentiment to leverage a mobile app for tobacco advertising that they created where, instead of parting with one of your last 20s, you can bump a smoke – virtually. Collect all 20 in a box and redeem for a real pack in store. It’s not going to change legislation or make smoking any easier, but it is a clever way of helping to keep people stocked up and puffing. Each cigarette still has to be paid for, so the tobacco giant hasn’t lost anything either. Nowadays they just have to work harder to find ways to beat the rulings and make smoking accessible and relevant to the market it’s aimed at, because hey! – you just aren’t going to get Ronal Reagan back on the campaign.
The cheesy half animated grin accompanied by a pack of so-called-mildness – and no warning… Ah! A world of ignorance-is-bliss – and an ever agreeable audience. And who could forget the six-minute epic mini movies of the mid 80s?!
Marlboro Bump a Smoke credits: Advertising School: Miami Ad School, Brooklyn, USA; Art Director: Jennine Punzone; Copywriter: Manasvi Abrol
© Copywriter Dylan Balkind