A marketing professor analyzes cigarette packaging


Cigarette manufacturers are required to include health warnings on their packaging. As brands find new ways to balance agency and self-advertisement, we’ve gone one step further, says a University of Guelph marketing professor.

Dr. Tim Dewhirst

In a comment in tobacco control, a BMJ journal that publishes research on tobacco use around the world, dr. Timothee Dewhirstteacher at Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economicsanalyzes the latest marketing tactic used by Lucky Strike cigarettes.

The new Lucky Strike advertisements use a rhetorical technique called anaphora – the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses. One ad has the claims “Always smooth. Always lucky”; another has “Make It Smooth”. Make it lucky.

Dewhirst points out that the anaphora distract from the health warning, which tends to be “minimal in size, text only, and in black and white.”

“Although advertising and promotion persists in the United States, however, cigarette packages appearing in advertising should require the display of the package health warning,” he writes. “There is also an apparent need to improve both the mandatory health warnings placed on cigarette packages (for example, being placed on the front and back and including graphic images) and the United States Surgeon General’s warnings. USA which are spun for use in cigarette advertising.

“It would be fruitful for tobacco control actors to give renewed attention to the use of ‘smooth’ as ​​a cigarette product descriptor, while keeping in mind the techniques commonly used by marketers and advertisers that serve to make highlighted product attributes more memorable and compelling,” he adds.

Dewhirst is a senior marketing and public policy researcher at Marketing department. His research focuses on sports, arts and entertainment marketing. He is also an associate editor for Tobacco Control in the area of ​​marketing and product promotion.

Dr Timothy Dewhirst
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