Product Image Attribute Study. Exploratory Research

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Product Image Attribute Study. Exploratory Research

This marketing report for R.J. Reynolds plumbs the imagery that smokers have of various types of cigarettes and suggests that these images can be used to improve cigarette marketing and advertising. It was to be used as a reference document for marketing.

Statements of intended uses for the report are followed by the findings of focus group testing about cigarette imagery. As an example, the report discusses images smokers have of non-filter cigarettes:

...[S]mokers tend to regard non-filter products as 'traditional', strong, high tar cigarettes that are smoked by rugged, male, blue collar workers... Some smokers believe that non-filter cigarettes provide more pleasure than filter products. However, they also perceive that it is necessary to suffer unpleasant sensations to attain this pleasure. They believe, for example, that non-filter cigarettes are especially -- even unpleasantly -- strong and 'difficult to take'...They are tantamount to a test, and a demonstration, of virility. Smokers believe that 'you'd have to be a real man to handle a cigarette like that.' In turn, the blue collar image of non-filters derives in part from this image, since the more active and physically oriented worker is perceived, as "more of a real man" ....The use of these allegedly 'dangerous' products acts as a further test and demonstration of masculinity, since 'real men are unafraid of danger.'...

From the section of the report about low tar cigarette imagery:

Moderation behaviors in general -- including switching to low tar cigarettes -- are perceived as 'intelligent' behaviors. The benefit of low tar is not that it enables the smoker to appear intelligent, but rather that it enables him to 'be' intelligent -- that is, to act and feel intelligent.

Date 19810800
Bates 501983273/3308
Collection RJ Reynolds
Pages 36