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Marlboro Rebranding Plan

Marlboro Rebranding Plan






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    Marlboro Rebranding Plan Marlboro Rebranding Plan Document Transcript

    • Marlboro Rebranding Plan Part I For this project, I chose Marlboro cigarettes. I wish to organize a plan for the company to bring their product to a whole new audience—college students. Since the majority of Marlboro smokers are older, brand-loyal consumers and because of the countless laws against tobacco advertising, the plan may come across as futile. I understand that this could be seen with low morality, but from a business perspective, successfully attracting this market could bring loads of profit. Strengths - Marlboro is one of the most notable, top-selling brands of cigarettes. Marlboro has one of the most recognizable brand logos in Advertising history in the Marlboro man. Marlboro cigarettes not only carry a tough, rebel lifestyle, but when one smokes a Marlboro they join a group with the likes of Al Pacino, Dennis Hopper, and Brad Pitt among others. The product of cigarettes, in general, contains addictive ingredients; this will bring customers to keep purchasing. Weaknesses - A large variety of cigarette brands exists. A pack of cigarettes and its high sales taxes may not work with a college budget. There are cheaper brands of cigarettes, too. Price remains a significant factor in the mind of the college consumer. Many federal laws prohibit traditional forms of tobacco advertising. Opportunities - College consumers tend to buy things upon impulse. Use of social, mobile, and online media is ever growing with young audiences. Threats - A largely negative view of cigarettes exists in the United States. There is always the possibility of new legislation inhibiting efforts from the cigarette industry. Cannot let another cigarette brand effectively reach college students first. Part II Research/Account Planning I have gathered both primary and secondary research to further strengthen the main ideas of this campaign. As part of my primary research, I interviewed a male and female smoker of the Baby Boomer generation to get a clearer view of cigarette smoking in past college years, these two accounts being specifically from the 1970s. No matter the era, young adults have similar habits in why they desire and try certain things; so, understanding the past more fully could present fresh methods for my plan. Both interviewees agreed upon the fact that they
    • started smoking only because it was cool at the time, though they both have yet to kick the habit forty years later. The traditional forms of advertising did not have a large effect on either of them; rather, it was the fact that their peers were doing it. To this day, these two smokers finish a pack every two to three days and remain loyal to certain brands, one being Virginia Slims and the other Marlboro. They have both stuck to their respective brand because the taste has simply become familiar to them. I then interviewed a Generation Y, male smoker who is currently a college student. He explained that he, too, started because his friends were smoking. This interviewee loves lighting up particularly for its socially interactive quality. He told me he has met many of his current closest friends while smoking a cigarette. His view of smoking, however, differs from the Baby Boomer’s account in that he smokes only while drinking. He noted that cigarettes receive more and more negative attention with the years, but it does not bother him or his friends. He claims he intends to quit after college, so he will, as he put it, “smoke it up” for now. These simple questions show that Marlboro can attract the college market without the traditional print and television advertising that it is heavily prohibited from using. College students obviously feel invincible at this time in their life, and they will try just about anything, especially when inhibitions are lowered with the flow of drinks. The socializing quality of cigarettes can deeply attract many college level consumers because they are always meeting new people and looking to meet more and more. Back in the 70s, Marlboro gained a lifetime customer in my first interviewee. The possibility for more lifetime consumers still exists. There is an influx of secondary information regarding smoking habits of college students, as well. In a journal entitled “Gendered Dimensions of Smoking Among College Students,” Mark Nichter finds that many students not only smoke while drinking due to its more positive reception, but also because of the ease it brings in meeting people, especially those of the opposite sex. The main idea to realize here is that drinking and smoking go together for many college students. Outside of that, two of important factors come into possible play from my research—diet and stress management. “The female weight-controlled smoker: a profile,” a journal by Cynthia Pomerleau explains that many young adults, men and women, smoke to maintain a thin bodily frame. In today’s culture, controlling weight is almost vital to survival. In another article, “Depression vulnerability predicts cigarette smoking among college students,” researchers Morrell and Cohen say that 31.9% of students smoke to release anxiety and stress. Taking all of this information into accord, Marlboro can capitalize dramatically on this market. Competitive Analysis Camel Intended Position: The cigarette that is as smooth, pleasurable, and cool as the man (or woman) who smokes it. Taglines: “Smooth Character.” “Discover More.” “Where A Man Belongs.” “Pleasure To Burn.” Brand Voice: Fancy (Rich), Formal, Culturally Cool Brand Promise: We’re here to give you smokers a rich and unique flavorful cigarette, as well as the rich and unique experience that comes with it. Target Consumer: Smokers that want cheaper, yet still classy cigarettes that still taste well. Newport
    • Intended Position: The cigarette to accompany the average person’s everyday tasks with pleasure. Tagline: “Pleasure!” Brand Voice: Active, Pragmatic Brand Promise: We’re here to give you physically active smokers a pleasurable boost to further enjoy your everyday tasks. Target Consumer: Smokers than want cheaper cigarettes (price over taste). Physically active smokers. Nearly 50% share of African American market. Parliament Intended Position: the cigarette that is as rich, intelligent, and complex as the man (or woman) who smokes it. Taglines: “You’re so smart to smoke Parliaments.” “Only the flavor touches your lips.” Brand Voice: Luxury, Wealth, Intelligence Brand Promise: We’re here not only to give you wealthy smokers a high-end cigarette, but also to send you to the beach upon every puff. Target Consumer: High-end, wealthy smokers. Those seeking a recessed filter (lowering the mouth’s contact with tar) Part III After analyzing the positions of Marlboro competitors and gathering research, I feel that any substantial branding changes are not necessary, but a few may show to be successful. Position mapping of top competitors in this industry indicates that Marlboro holds a distinct and firm position in the market. To be exact, records show that Marlboro held 42% of the entire market in 2011. In other words, they are a little more expensive, but it is worth the buy because they are obviously good cigarettes. All of this information works greatly in Marlboro’s favor; it shows reliability to any college student on the fringe of deciding to smoke. To spread the words of this reliability, Marlboro needs to execute two specific elements of the brand strategy--raising brand awareness and creating strong relationships with this new college market. To accomplish the two tasks in this brand strategy, however, Marlboro’s big name will not sell itself. Marlboro could hold promotion deals at college campus stores, especially during exam weeks when stress is at an all-time high, or have their representatives flock to campus bars spreading Marlboro’s name. Getting the name out there in a fun, cool light in a completely college environment will work wonders. Furthermore, to reach this specific college market, Marlboro might think of changing the design on their packages or even the packages themselves. Innovation and change is what catches the college consumer these days. They buy into new trends all the time. Budweiser, for example, radically changed the design of its historically famous can to a younger, more modern style to reach a younger market. It showed to be successful, at least in the beginning. It is essential that Marlboro form a strong bong with customers. If a student starts on Marlboros, he or she is not likely to stray from Marlboro due to that fact that smokers usually stick by the brand with which they are familiar. Getting these young adults on mailing lists or any generalized contact at that will always give them the constant reminder of the aura that is Marlboro. All in all, for any of this to happen, smoking simply needs to be seen as cool again at least in the college environment.
    • Why Statement: To make college life a little easier--and maybe just a little more fun [or enjoyable] at that. Positioning Statement: The company that gives you that moment to just relax. Rationale: When college students need to simply take a break from life and relax, they’ll think nothing other than Marlboro. Brand Promise: A quick and enjoyable release from the pressures of everyday life. Reasons to Believe: Scientific information showing the ways cigarettes relax the body. The history, tradition, and high level of respect that Marlboro cigarettes have carried and carry to this day. The words and experiences of loyal Marlboro smokers. Brand Character: Authentic, Successful, Dominant Brand Personality: Trustworthy, Creative, Young, Popular Consumer Target Demographic The main audience Marlboro will want to target here is college students in the United States. These subjects, both men and women, average an age from 18 to 24 years. They are very price conscious, for the most part. The main traits of this audience, though, will be their life values and psychographics. With all the known harms to human health that Marlboro’s product carries and the negative attention cigarettes receive constantly, this audience will certainly have to live life on the edge, in so many words, to a certain extent. Our audience will not, to a major extent, consist of athletes, medical students, or non-drinkers. The group at which we will be targeting is the rebellious, but fun-seeking group. Students that already smoke will know what they want; we want to attract those students who will give it at least one try. This stage in our audience’s life is the point at which they will try anything if it sounds good enough. Narrative One student that fits our targeted characteristics is the young male at the bar on a Thursday night. Thursday is a school night, obviously, but many students choose to go out on the town on Thursdays. These excess pleasure seekers are part of our target. This specific wildsider is 18 or 19 years old. Though 18 years of age is old enough to buy tobacco, it is not enough to drink legally. By federal law, one must be 21 to consume alcohol; however, underage drinking on college campuses is almost guaranteed to take place. This young man is your typical college boy, though. Loves anything beer or party related. He is wearing a collared shirt and jeans. He is obviously sociable as he knows many people at the bar and is quite boisterous. He is ready to try just about anything, not only because he will look cooler or funnier in front of friends, but also simply because he is the exact kind of person who would. With this information, we can dive yet a little deeper. We can assume that this guy has just finished a hard week of studying and is ready to release every bit of stress built up inside of him. He is currently feeling the common rush that comes with drinking underage at a bar, the rush of invincibility. He will more than likely have alcohol in his system, as well, since currentday students begin drinking heavily prior to entering a bar. In other words, this young man is in prime condition to go for more thrills, or a cigarette. We’ve got him.
    • Part IV The three best ways to reach this specific target audience, outside of physically conversing with them in the real world and while abiding by tobacco advertisement legislation, will be through the web, film, and music. After raising the awareness for Marlboros and building a personal relationship, Marlboro could lead these customers toward digital advertising. A website presenting information on their cigarettes, any upcoming deals, interactive elements, and a shop could rake in customers. Many websites, like Google, for instance, have rejected any and all offers to advertise tobacco, so other online advertising will not be easy. College students are constantly surfing the web, however, so it is vital to infiltrate this medium. Creating redirection websites from popular websites could help at least put Marlboro in someone’s mind for the split second that they are on the site. Twitter and Facebook pages will play a very large role, too. It remains of utmost importance that Marlboro constantly try to brighten its image in any way possible. These social sites are not only great for public relations management, but also for spread of mouth in consumers, which exists as one of our main benefits. Apps, as well as emails, presenting updates and news of weekly deals or certain promotions for specific days could directly and quickly influence buying behavior. Product placement in film will remain just as important as web advertising for Marlboro. Film has always been a strong outlet to exhibit beautiful and famous people smoking cigarettes. Young men and women are so heavily influenced by celebrities that seeing one of their favorites smoking a Marlboro could suck them right into our business. Certain movies and actors/actresses will attract different sects of our audience, though. Smoking in college-set movies will have the most impact. However, watching Bruce Willis smoke a Marlboro in a movie like Die Hard, for example, or any actions movie at that, will attract young males. Seeing gorgeous women like Scarlett Johansson and Demi Moore sexily lighting up on the big screen will bring a female audience. James Bond holding a Marlboro attracts those classier college audiences. Every star in a movie is respective to the how the viewer sees himself/herself smoking. The rating will have an impact, as well. The movie must be rated PG-13 or R to have any college students watch it. Most importantly, smoking must be seen in a bright, cool light in these movies. Music is another popular form of media among college students. It is hard to see any student on a college campus these days who is not wearing headphones. Rap, dance, electronic, and independent music are four popular genres to today’s students. These style’s lyrics, many directly expressing the fun in partying, drinking, drugs, and sex, hold dramatic influences over young students. If Marlboro could get Kanye West to rap about lighting up a Marlboro, Ke$ha to sing of the fun in smoking a Marlboro at a party, or Edward Sharpe to croon about relaxing with a Marlboro, students would ambush convenient stores all over the nation for a pack. Album covers provide another potential vehicle for Marlboro, as well. If only Paul McCartney was holding a Marlboro on the cover of Abbey Road… Marlboro needs to capitalize on three specific times of the year for maximum profit. Promotional deals or sales during exam weeks in December and May will give students greater reason to buy, as they need to quickly kill loads of stress. Depending upon the release of certain movies in which Marlboro cigarettes make appearances, sales promotions could be made accordingly. The Holidays remain a time of constant film release. The cold weather paired with seeing Daniel Craig light up a Marlboro on screen in the snow could increase sales dramatically. Though cigarettes scientifically make your body colder, many people smoke in the cold, thinking they are warming themselves. The winter months, in general, could be a great time to promote
    • huge sales and deals on the Internet as many web surfers will be inside on the computer for large parts of the day. Part V Creative Brief Opportunity: Today’s youth are tomorrow’s smokers. The college market is a potential goldmine for business. Get them to give a cigarette the “ole college try” once, and the next times will come much easier. There is not a whole lot of competition in the market, either. Target Audience: The main audience here is college students. They are 18-24 years old, both men & women. We won’t get every college student smoking; so, our more specified audience will possess basic, main qualities like an infatuation with drinking, being incautious to an extent, and rebelling. They are very price conscious, too. Consumer Insight: These consumers will only smoke for a scarce variety of reasons. Some will smoke to relax and ease the many stresses that college life carries with it. Others will light up to socialize, to maintain weight, or to rebel against the common, mainstream culture. Most of our audience will smoke, however, only when they are drinking. Drinking is almost as synonymous with college as books are these days. All in all, these students will only be seen smoking a cigarette if they can feel somewhat cool, or at least not embarrassed while doing so. All of these qualities must be joined fluently, clearly, and efficiently. Brand Imperatives: We must keep the high standard of Marlboro, but present it in a younger, more pleasurable, fun view. We must express a reliability factor, as well. They must know when they buy into the Marlboro brand, they will not only get the best mix of flavor and tobacco, but also be better accepted in a smoking environment. Holding a Marlboro exudes experience, more so than any other brand. It is crucial that we keep these traits in mind. Communication Objectives: Our goal here is to sell cigarettes, but it is also to communicate with students that we are here for them, that Marlboro is their friend. It is important to keep these consumers in constant contact. Though our product’s addictive quality will eventually sell itself, we must regularly remind the majority of them of the name Marlboro to keep it always at the forefront of their mind. Communication channels between the two groups must be always be clear and accessible. Accomplish these goals, and they will surely buy from us. Proposition: We’re selling relaxation, pleasure, and a fun time in a box. Taking a deep breath with a Marlboro makes you one with yourself and slows the rapid pace of life down just a bit. However, it accomplishes these things all in an enjoyable environment. Creative Direction: We must go younger in all facets. We want to keep the basic, traditional model of Marlboro cigarettes, but younger, more modern designs may show to be successful. The professional and formal tobacco advertising is not going to attract young students. Action, excitement, and surprise seem to be the best advertising qualities toward the younger generations. They are always looking for something new. If our creativity can at least catch the eye of a potential smoker, our chances of a sale increase dramatically. Media Imperative: Traditional cigarette ads are pretty plain, simple, and only
    • pertain to older consumers. We are looking for ideas of potential fresh entries into more films, music, and online sites that college students are watching, listening to, and surfing on. These media must present our cigarettes in a popular vision, however. Keep in mind the various legislations against tobacco advertising. Part VI Execution 1 My print ad depicts two men (one white, one black) and two women (one white, one Hispanic), sitting at a table on a bar’s patio. Their young faces indicate them to be in their very early twenties, and they are all aesthetically good-looking and skinny. They are smoking Marlboro Golds, laughing and having a visibly fun time. There are party lights all over, and people line the background dancing. A pack of Marlboro Golds and a few unidentifiable, but alcoholic drinks are on the table. This not only exhibits that Marlboros provide social interaction, but are also great during a night of drinking. The drinks, cigarettes, and joyous environment indicate a very relaxed environment, as well. No one looks at them in disgust in this ad; cigarettes are simply a normal part of life. College students will be able to perfectly relate to these four people. This specific ad will not have any features that jump out of the print, but they will exhibit the exact experience college kids desire to live on the weekends. The headline reads: “Relax.” A sub-headline below it reads: “Take a break. Take a load off. Just take a deep breath. Life doesn’t have to be stressful.” The body copy at the bottom says, “The element that never rusts: Gold. Like a chemistry experiment outside the classroom, Marlboro Golds provide a mix of refreshment and smooth flavor like no other.” This body copy gives a hint at keeping the traditional cigarette copy by explaining taste, but tries to hint at more college humor. In addition, college students most likely will not read any long copy; so, keeping it short and compact will have the best impact. In the bottom right corner stands a pack of Marlboro Golds with the Marlboro logo. The words “Marlboro Gold” hovering to the left of it. In the upper right corner resides the Surgeon General’s Warning. Execution 2 This may be viewed as a stretch, but I’ve always felt like creating a pack of cigarettes that holds only 7 sticks compared the to normal 20 would be a highly purchased product. If Marlboro did this with its various flavors of cigarettes, and marked down the price respectively, many more consumers would be attracted. Some smokers just want a few cigarettes, not 20; therefore, they will not spend the high price to buy 20. Knowing this information, along with the research I have found in the correlation between alcohol and smoking among college students, I would introduce this new pack to the nation on July 7 (7/7). Even further, I would cut a deal with Jack Daniel’s Whiskey for these packs to be sold for free with a purchase of their “Lucky Number 7” bottles. All stores selling alcohol on campuses or near campuses can promote the event on their walls all throughout June and even present reminder cards on the counter or with purchases. We must not only invade the stores where they regularly buy, but also the bars where they regularly go. More deals with Jack Daniels for free Marlboros can be applied with purchases of the whiskey at a bar. It remains extremely difficult to advertise alcohol and tobacco to college students traditionally because of so much opposed legislation, but through these methods, we can attempt to bypass it. The only other problem is that Marlboro will just have to wait for the year that July 7 falls on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
    • Execution 3 Guerilla marketing for the cause of smoking cigarettes may only show to give negative attention to cigarette companies. Advertising that is so in-your-face is already surprising enough, but guerilla marketing pro-cigarettes may simply anger more people than it will influence. All of that aside, I’ve always seen bike racks, traffic-guiding poles, street light poles, and cross walks as great structures for the form of a cigarette. Tie paper around them or paint them, give them cigarette details, and write Marlboro in giant letters around the filter. These structures exist all over college campuses everywhere; Marlboro could cover half a campus with its name. Any campuses near a giant water tank or smoke stacks would provide an even farther reach for this idea, too. Our target group of consumers would be interested because they would be seeing these cigarette models all over campus. It is sure to cause a buzz, positive or negative. The brand Marlboro will reside at the front of his/her mind at that point. With cigarettes, the simple thought of one is enough incentive for most to buy. By spreading the word of Marlboro, the product will do the rest.