Campaigns for E-Cigarettes Borrow From Tobacco’s Heyday (12/05/12)

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IT has been decades since American consumers could watch cigarette commercials, which once filled the airwaves with pitches for brands like Camel, Chesterfield, Kool, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Viceroy and Winston. Now, they can watch cigarette spots again, to an extent: the smokes being advertised are electronic rather than made from tobacco.

Marketers of e-cigarettes are introducing campaigns that echo the traditional appeals for tobacco cigarettes in both content and media placements.

For instance, the ads have catchy themes that could be deemed on a par with “I’d walk a mile for a Camel” or “Only Viceroy has a thinking man’s filter ... a smoking man’s taste.” Ads for Njoy King carry the theme “Cigarettes, you’ve met your match” and ads for Blu eCigs carry the theme “Rise from the ashes.”

Some e-cigarette ads feature celebrity endorsers, in the way that ads for conventional cigarettes once featured actors, athletes, doctors and even cartoon characters. The actor Stephen Dorff began appearing in October in a campaign for Blu eCigs, which was acquired this year by Lorillard, the maker of mainstay cigarette brands like Kent, Old Gold and Newport.

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Related Resources: NYC Coalition for Smoke-Free City Community Education and Accessing the Media