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InternationalBusinessManagement5(2):85-90,2011ISSN:1993-5250©Medwell
J
ournals,2011
TheImportanceofCigarettePackasBrandImage
F.
BineshFacultyofManagement,UniversityofMultimedia,KualaLumpur,Malaysia
Abstract:
Packaginginthemostoftheindustriesmeansmorethanasimplecontaineroftheproduct.Intobaccoindustryasanoutcomeoftightadvertisingandmarketingprohibitions,companieslookdifferentlytothepack;theyviewitasastrongcomponentindisplayingbrandimageryandacreatingsignificantin-storepresenceatthepointofpurchase.Markettestingshowstheinfluenceofthisdimensioninshiftingtheconsumer'schoicewhenthesameproductdisplaysinanalternativepackage.Studiesalsoshowhowcompanieshavemanipulatedavarietyofelementsinpacksdesignstocommunicatetheimpressionoflowerin
tar
ormildercigaretteswhereasthecomponentswerethesame.Inbetween,thepreviousneglectoftobaccocontrolonconsideringcigarettepackshasbeengraduallychangedintoinvestigationaboutpacksimportanceonappealingsmokers.Theaimofthisstudyisinvestigatingaroundcigarettepacksroleintobaccoindustrywithfocusonitsbrandimageaspect.
In
addition,itexploresaroundpossibleinfluentialtobaccocontrolactionswhilespecificallytargetingyouth.Thisstudymayleadtoabetterunderstandingofincreasingroleandimportanceofpackingintobaccoindustry.
Keywords:
Tobaccoindustry,brandimage,packaging,darkmarket,publichealth,prohibition
INTRODUCTION
Packagingformostoftheconsumerproductshasbecomeakeyelementinmarketingstrategy.Whereasthetraditionalroleofpackagingpreviouslywasprotectingandmaintainingtheproduct(Wakefield
etal.,2002),
now-a-daysasamatterofincreasedcompetition,thisaspecthasgainmoredimensions:amarketingtoolthatactsasanadvertisingatthepointofpurchasealsoactsasabranddifferentiatorandevenasaninseparablepartofproduct
(Appadu,
2001).Indeedcigarettespackagingisnotanexceptionhoweverinthiscasepackageissomehowmorecritical.First,unlikeotherproductswhichpacksaremainlydiscardedafteropening,cigarettespacksretainuntilthecigarettesareused.Thisaddsanadditionaladvertisingroletothepackage(especiallyinthefaceofadvertisingrestrictions):publicdisplayduringtheuse(Wakefield
etal.,
2002).Second,apartfrommereexceptionssuchasAustralia(Carter,2003a),cigarettebrandshavethehighestbrandloyaltyamongallconsumerproductswith<10%ofsmokerschangingbrandsannuallywithconsideringthefactthatsmokersbrandchoicesareusuallymadeduringtheiryouth(Wakefield
etal.,
2002;Carter,2003a).Packagealsocoversbrandimagery.Theconceptbrandimageasfirstwasfocusedinthe1950and1960sisgenerallydefinedasassociationwithorperceptionsofthebrandinthecustomers'mind(Carter,2003b).Asamatteroftobaccorestriction,cigarettepackplaysamoreimportantroleinestablishingandconveyingbrandimage(Wakefield
etal.,
2002).Indeed,tobaccocompanieshaveusedthebrandimagerycomponentscolors,symbolsandgraphicstoinfluencetheperceptionoftheriskofthesmokers(HammondandParkinson,2009).Despitetheimportanceofthissubjectasapublichealthconcern,therehasbeenarelativelysmallamountofpublichealthresearcharoundcigarettes'packs;therehavebeenonly
11
Englisharticlespublishedsince1990inPubMedaroundsmokingandproductpackagingwhereas>298and157articleshavebeenpublished,respectivelyaboutsmokingandadvertisingandsmokingandprice(Wakefield
etal.,2002).
Incontrasttothesmallamountofattentionofpublicstudies,tobaccoindustryhasfoundouttheimportanceofpackagedesignasearlyas1950sandconductedavastnumberofresearchesconcerningconsumersandpackagedesign(Wakefield
etal.,
2002).Theaimofthisstudyistofocusuponspecificresearchproblems:TheimportanceofcigarettespackagesasbrandimageundercurrenttobaccoindustryrestrictionsMisleadofinformationintentionallycausedbytobaccocompaniespackdesignsWhattobaccocontrolactionscanbemoresuccessfulwhileespeciallytargetingyoungpeople
Darkmarket
Currentsituation
oftobacco
industry:
Thereare2typesofmarketingstrategiesavailableforpromotingeachproduct:AbovetheLineATL;consistsofmassmedia85
 
Int.BusinessManage.,
5(2):
85-90,2011
(television,radio,posters,billboardsandcinema)andBelowtheLine(BTL)consistsofmethodsotherthanmassmedia(Carter,2003b).Since1950swhenthefirstconcernsaboutthesmokinghazardsaired(Wakefield
et
al.,
2002)alargeamountofpublicefforthavebeeninvolvedbydifferentcountriestoinformpeopleaboutsmokingdangers.ForinstanceFederalAustralianlaw1992titledTobaccoAdvertisingProhibition(TAP)hasmademosttypesoftobaccomarketingillegalincludingalloftheabovethelinetypes(Carter,2003b).
In
addition,alotofEuropeanUnion(EU)countriessuchasIreland,NorwayandItalyhavebannedsmokinginworkplaces(DesireandPattarawan,2007).Besides,SouthAfricapassednationallawsin2000makingpublicsmokingprohibitedexceptforbarsandrestaurants(Howard
etal.,
2007).Figure1onthenextpageshowsthecountries,statesandprovinceswhichhavebannedsmokinginindoorworkplacesandotherindoorpublicplaces(Howard
etal.,
2007).Accordingtothefactthatthehealthconcernsaretheprimarymotivationtoquit(HammondandParkinson,2009)asearlyas1950stobaccocompaniesembarkedtoprovidereassuranceandaseriesofappealingalternativestoquittingforsmokers;thefirststepwasintroducingfiltercigarsin1950swhichlateronpersistedbypromptingtheintroductionofcigarettesthatwereclaimedtobelighterintarormilder(Wakefield
etal.,2002).
Nevertheless,healthconcerningorganizationsrealizedthiseffectandfirstlyintheUSAandlaterin42othercountriesbannedusageofthetermsaslowtar,lightandmildonthecigarettepacks,recentresearchconductedinCanada,UKandAustraliasuggeststhatprohibitingthesetermsmaybeinsufficienttosignificantlyreducethemisleadperceptioncausedbywrongimage(HammondandParkinson,2009).Meanwhile,onthelackofATLandasadvertisingrestrictionsincrease,themarketingandadvertisingroleofcigarettepackageshasbecomemoresignificant
than
ever.
Theimportanceofpackagingintobaccoindustry:
Asearlyas1950stobaccocompaniesbegantorealizetheroleofpackagingintobaccomarketing.Forinstance$150,000wasspentonpackagingresearchbyPhilipMorris,equivalentto$1millionin
today
'stermstochangetheimageofMarlborocigarettepackagefromfemininetomoremasculine(Wakefield
et
al.,
2002;Appadu,2001).Thismagnificentprojectincluded>120differentrendersanddesignsandeachofthemwheretestedforeyemovementforemotionalimpactandforeveryotherattributerelatedtothecase(Wakefield
etal.,
2002)fromwhichaflip-uptopandaruggedboxwereeventuallychosenandchangedtheMarlborobrandimagefromitspreviouswomentargetedbrandtoamoremasculineImage(Appadu,2001).Thefactthatsmokerscarrythe
rJ.
Designatedsmokingroomsallowed
Fig.1:Legislationinsomecountriesandregions(showningreen)allowsforthepossibilityofadesignated,enclosed,ventilatedsmokingroom.FullbansarealsoinforceinRhodeIsland,Hawaii,PuertoRico,Washington,DC,Bermuda,theBritishVirginIslands,BhutanandtheAustralianCapitalTerritory;legislationallowingfordesignatedsmokingroomsisinforceinMalta.FullbanshavegoneintoeffectinQuebecfrom2008andinMontana,UtahandHongKongin200986
 
Int.BusinessManage.,
5(2):
85-90,2011
packsaroundandtakethemoutseveraltimesdailytolightanewcigarettegivesanextraadvertisingandimageryroletothepack.Thisalsoshiftssomeofthebrandimagetothesmokerwhichhasmadetobaccocompaniesabletomanipulatepackstotargetespecialmarkets.Forinstance,youngpeoplearemainlyconcernedaboutanewdesignandsomethingthatdrawsattention(jealousy)whilewomenareattractedbyslimlongpackageswithatoneddowncolor,toexposefemininity.There'salsosomeevidencerelatedtoareportonpackagingconductedbyopinionresearchcorporationin1961thatpackagedesignspreferenceissex-linked(Wakefield
etal.,2002).
AgoodexampleofthisisintroducinganewpacktargetingyoungwomentitledCamelno.9byCamelcigarettein2007.Thecompanyusedopensourcemarketingtechniquescollaborationbetweenmanufacturerandconsumersindesigningproductthroughvotingsamples,polls,etc.,andthenewpackwasvotedbythousandsofconsumersontheCamelwebsite.Thefinalpackwasasleekhotpinkandblackboxthathadobviousappealtoyoungfashion-consciouswomen(FreemanandChapman,2009).Ontheotherhand,anexampleofdesignswhichdemonstratesyoungmasculinityispropositionofanovalpackbyPhilipMorrisin1990.Thenewdesignhadadistinctiveyoungmasculineappearancewhichlateronwasconfirmedbyastudytestingthat:thepackhastremendousappealamongyoungsmokers(Wakefield
etal.,2002).
Inahighlycompetitivemarketwheremostofthetypesofadvertisingarebanned,theimportanceofcigarettepackageshasbecomemoresignificantthanever.In1980,theseniorvicepresidentofmarketingatBATnotedthatinafuturewhereincreasinglytheproductmayhavetosellitselfthroughthepack,afullerunderstandingofthewayinwhichperceptionofsuchpacksaffectsperceptionoftheircontentsisdesirable(Wakefield
etaI.,
2002).Tobaccocompaniesspendmonthstoseveralyearsandenormousbudgetstopreparedesignsconveyingtheirmessagesthebest(Wakefield
et
al.,
2002;Appadu,2001).Tobeprecise,undercurrentsituationthisissignificantlyimportantthatconsumercanidentifythebrandamongdifferentchoicesinastoreshelf(Wakefield
etal.,2002).
Theeffectofcigarettepacksontheperceptionofrisk:
Fromthebeginningofadvertisingbans,tobaccocompaniesmanipulatedcigarettepackstodelivertheirmarketingstrategies.Theemergenceofmildcigarettesinthe1960and1970sisagoodexample(Wakefield
etaI.,
2002).Sincethen,health-concernedsmokershavebeenchosentheseso-calledmildorlowerintarcigarettesratherthanquittoreducethenicotineabsorbednevertheless,theydelivermuchhigherlevelsduringconsumption(HammondandParkinson,2009).Manyresearchershaveconcernedaboutemergenceofsuchelementsandtheirinfluenceonconsumersasin2009HammondandParkinsonconductedastudyparticipatingadultsmokersandnon-smokersinCanada.Thefindingsshowedthattherespondentsweredramaticallymorelikelytochooselight,mild,smoothandsilvertermsashavinglessharshlyeffectshowever,smokersweresignificantlymorelikelytoratepackagestitledwithsuchtermsassmootherintasteandlowerinriskwhichdemonstratesthesmokers'readinesstopersuadethemselvesbysuchtermsandelements.AfterprohibitingofuseofsuchtermsfirstintheUSAintheyear2006andlaterinother43countriesworldwide(HammondandParkinson,2009),companiesattemptedtosupersedeotherelementstodeliverthemessage.Tobaccoindustrydocumentsshowthatasidefromnamesanddescriptors,otherdesignelementssuchascolorandshapewerepurposefullyusedtoexposethelower
tar
ormildercigarettesperception.Aseriesofresearcheswereconductedtodetermineotherinfluentialelements.Companiesdiscoveredthatdowntoneandlightercolorsonthepackappearedtopromoteperceptionsofmildorlow
tar
(Wakefield
et
al.,
2002).Inaddition,otherdescriptorsreplacedtheoldonessuchassmoothandcolordescriptorslikesilverorblueaswellastarnumberslikeMarlboroonewereused(HammondandParkinson,2009).Forexamplein1979RJReynolds,oneofthemostinnovativecigarettepackagedesignerschangedthewholeimageofCamelcigarettebyreplacingtheoldpackagewithanewdesign.RJReynoldsintroducedanewpackwithmorewhitespacesandlightenedthebrowntoneswhichgaveahealthierimagetotheproduct;thisisbecausewhiteisgenerallyheldtoconveyacleanhealthyassociation(Wakefield
etaI.,
2002;HammondandParkinson,2009).Alpinethatismostlyknownasafemalebrandisanotherexampleofusingwhiteandlighttonestodemonstratemildness.In1994,companyfocusedonredesigningthepackinordertorevitalizeandstrengthenthequalityappealoftheAlpinebrandin1990s(Wakefield
etal.,
2002).ThenewdesignpreparedbyPhilipMorriswasacomplexionofwhitetippingandagreenandwhitepackthatbecameasuccessandpleasedcompanyaswellasconsumers.Now-a-days,Alpineisperceivedmilder,cleaner,lessharmfulandmorehealing.Inaddition,thebrand'simagehasalsostrengthenedbycarryingbrandaspersonelements.Alpineisfeminine,upmarketandsophisticatedandthenewpacklooks87

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