Sunday, 13 May 2012

Ex-303: How to advertise to teens.

For information on accessing documents, see note at the end of this post

What are we to make of Imperial Tobacco commissioning guidelines to make their advertising even more effective with young people?

The document that tells such a story is a research project conducted in 1975 by Canadian Facts for Imperial Tobacco. It is titled du Maurier and young people - an initial exploration, and was introduced to the class action trial on May 10, 2012 as Exhibit 303.

This study is the first in a series of research projects with the label CRY (it is numbered CRY1). The plaintiff lawyers in the Montreal class action suits have asked consecutive witnesses whether they can explain the acronym CRY -- but so far none have been able to remember what it means. This is a tad curious, given that it was defined in the Tobacco Act trial ten years ago "Consumer Research Young". (Documents with the number CRY5, CRY11, CRY27, CRY30, CRY32, CRY36, CRY38 and CRY41 were introduced during the constitutional challenges to the Tobacco Products Control Act and the Tobacco Act).

The existence of Exhibit 303 is inconsistent with statements by Imperial Tobacco that its advertising was not designed with young people in mind, or that it adhered to the restrictions in the industry voluntary code to address its advertisign only to adults 18 years of age and over (Exhibit 20001).

Young Montreal smokers (aged 15 to 18) were recruited and interviewed in two focus groups (separate male and female), where they were shown advertisements for competitors' brands and Imperial brands.  The researchers observed some key criteria for success in advertising to this age group, and then wrote their own "Top 11" ways to appeal to youth.

Some Hypotheses About How To Best Appeal To Young People.

With these two groups as a guide it is possible to develop some guidelines for strategy and executions to best appeal to young people like these. Much of what is to be listed here will be obvious from the foregoing but its summarization might be helpful:

1. Executions should continue to concentrate on showing a male and female couple associated with a particular activity.

2. The couple should be left shadowy and in the background so that there are no discernible clues to their looks, or age.

3. The clues should be left to the executional setting itself.

4. The setting should provide an undercurrent of excitement -- it should not be a passive, unchallenging activity.

5. It should be one in which young people (particularly boys) would like to indulge.

6. It should be an activity that is unusual enough that most would not have done so before but which they could conceive of doing now; that is, it should not be something that they would only do if they “had more money” or when they are older.”

7. It should be an activity that requires some physical accomplishment and would contribute to a slightly masculine orientation but one in which girls could also participate.

8. The activity itself should result in the impression of a peaceful, tranquil, "free" sort of feeling, not a hard, frenetic, sweaty, tiresome sort of feeling (thus , sailing would be better than motor boat racing, bicycling better than jogging, etc.).

9. It should present something "better" without putting it out of the conceivable reach of the "average" young person.

10. The' couple should be shown as if they are just about to start or have just finished the activity, not actually in the process of doing it.

11. The couple should be shown in close physical contact to reinforce the impressions of romantic intimacy – they should be made to look unmarried.

(The pictures of Players advertisements in this post were published in the decade after 1975. They were part of exhibits in the Tobacco Act trial.)

To access trial documents linked to this site:

The documents are on the web-site maintained by the Plaintiff's lawyers. To access them, it is necessary to gain entry to the web-site. Fortunately, this is easy to do.

Step 1: Click on:

Step 2: Click on the blue bar on the splash-page "Acces direct a l'information/direct access to information" You will then be taken to the document data base.

Step 3: Return to this blog - and click on any links.