Cigarette brands try ‘sensory’ stimulation

Cigarette companies have started using marketing and design consultancies to develop ‘sensory’ branding in the face of prohibitive advertising legislation, Design Week can reveal.

In a bid to overcome mounting European censorship of image-based marketing, tobacco groups are turning their attention to the other senses such as smell, touch and sound, as they find ever more inventive ways to market their products to existing and potential consumers.

Fitch has revealed details of a newly devised ‘sensory branding’ project for British American Tobacco-owned brands Pall Mall and Lucky Strike, which sponsors the Formula One racing team British American Racing.

BAT has started using team events to introduce indirect forms of subliminal marketing, including the use of distinctive smells inside sealed cigarette packs, and other selected messaging such as on-brand colours and music. Fitch design director Stuart Wood suggests that other consumer sectors such as alcoholic drink and fast-food brands will be likely to make use of sensory branding techniques as they are developed.

Next month, Camel is due to launch a design initiative aimed at consolidating its use of artwork, illustrations, photography, visual language, typography and colour palettes, after appointing a team of nine creatives (DW 31 May).

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