Overall Marlboro Brand Image
YAM Smokers of Marlboro Red
(Excerpts from Marlboro Marketing Mix Monitor Qualitative, 1995)
Next question: What is YAMS' overall image (unaided) of the Marlboro brand now that all the "properties" have been out there in the marketplace?
Toa great extent, the overall Marlboro brand image resembles the image coming off the Marlboro Country advertising...
But there was one important quality differentiating the two images...
???‚¬?? First, let's look at the similarities...
Echoing what we heard coming off the Marlboro Country advertising, the overall Marlboro brand image was described as:
???‚¬?? Masculine and independent ???‚¬?ˆ? in control of his life
"He's the-perfect guy. He does what he wants. He doesn't listen to anyone's rules. Ode's always floppy because fie does what he likes."
???‚¬?? Confident and self assured
"He's confident, good footing, strong. He has a twinkle in his eye. He's not trying to impress people, but he looks cool so he impresses people anyway."
???‚¬?? He has a special aura about him...he has "presence"...charisma...
"You can tell he's going places in life ???‚¬?ˆ? he has a mystique about him."
???‚¬?? And, at the same time, he's trustworthy, dependable, down to earth
???‚¬?? As well as caring, compassionate...
"He'd be a good, loyal friend ???‚¬?ˆ? he'd never let you down"
Additionally, we heard some important differences:
???‚¬?? More sociable and fun loving than the Advertising image
???‚¬?ˆ? YAMS more often pictured him hanging out with friends, going to bars, going to parties
"He's the kind of guy who can go to a bar with friends and be the life of the party." (35)
???‚¬?? More "foot loose"
"He's a fly by the seat of his pants kind of person."
"He has the personality of spontaneity and can get crazy with the rest of them..."
???‚¬?? More accessible/approachable, "more like me"
"We're more alike, share the same interests. We have more the same kind of personality."
"He's very cool calm, mellow} and easy to get along with..."
Net, overall Marlboro brand image was more "one of the guys" than the image coming off the advertising
???‚¬?? More sociable, more accessible, less extreme in his rugged masculinity than the image coming off the Marlboro Country advertising....
Why this difference?
Today, to this sample of YAM Red Marlboro Smokers, overall Marlboro brand image appears to be a mix of image coming off the advertising PLUS image conveyed by Promotions
Promotions seem to "lighten up" the overall Marlboro image
???‚¬?? Infuses it with more sociability, approachability
Suspect that advertising has also contributed to this
???‚¬?? In other words, overall Marlboro image has more of a balance between work and personal time...
Question: Is this an improvement, or a dilution?
Answer: It's both...
It's an improvement in that now the image more closely resembles the audience...it's someone they can more easily relate to...
How do respondents see themselves?..
Sociable/Sense of humor/Easy-going
So how is it a dilution?
Making him more real, approachable, accessible is synonymous with making him less heroic...less mythic...less ideal...less aspirational
???‚¬?? While "close enough to touch" in '87, he's even closer-in today
???‚¬?ˆ? Versus Marlboro Country advertising which has always made him seem larger than life...
Net, it's a trade-off...
Advertising which exalts Marlboro Country inevitably makes it something of a mirage...
But Promotions ???‚¬?ˆ? by injecting fun and sociability makes the brand less special