Since the advent of the "all print" situation, U. S. cigarette companies are making heavier use then ever before of sales promotion techniques. These are not new in themselves, but their wide application for cigarette brands is a 1971 phenomenon. Four styles of promotion appear to be most widely used:
Competitions Within the past few months MARLBORO has had a football contest; KENT has invited smokers to a holiday in England; MULTIFILTER was willing to enter smokers in a Kentucky Derby sweepstake; SALEM offered a dream vacation, and Liggett & Myers is offering big-money sweepstake prizes. Our latest information is that DORAL is going to give away 10,000 Scripto lighters in a sweepstake promotion.
2. Self liquidators
These promotions enable consumers to buy named articles at lower- than-normal prices, while the company (who is able to make the offers through beneficial bulk-buying arrangements) gains its benefits at little or no cost where response is worthwhile. VIRGINIA SLIMS, for example, has offered a gold plated necklace "choker" for $3 and bottom panels from two packs: TAREYTON offers a tap water filter with a declared retail value of $12. 99 for $5 and two pack wrappers. Brown & Williamson's KOOL offers a sailboat for $88, and this promotion is described more fully on page 9 of this issue.
3. Sports promotions
As our Louisville friends say, there is almost a "you name it and the industry is in it" situation regarding sport. Not only are a variety of sports involved - horse racing, tennis, bowling, car racing etc. - but there is also a variety of promotional applications. Most are sponsorships of one form or another... of awards and/or events. Liggett & Myers sponsors a 9-race motor sport "L & M Continental Championship"; also in the motor racing field, Philip Morris sponsors the "MARLBORO Championship" involving 13 races; the R. J. Reynolds-sponsored "WINSTON Cup" covers 51 races, and there is also a "WINSTON 500" event. Reynolds also promotes the "Winston-Salem Classic" in the sphere of bowling, while Philip Morris sponsors a national "VIRGINIA SLIMS Tennis Tournament". In all expenditure by the companies concerned totals several million dollars. As a contrast, KENT cigarettes are advertised over closed circuit television at some 70 race tracks across the United States.
4. Consumer product sampling
This appears to be mostly on a mass, rather than selective, scale. American Tobacco has initiated mass mailings of their SILVA THINS to millions (literally) of households, and they are in process of doing the same for their new brand MARYLAND 100's. Reynolds too has begun sampling quite heavily for its new brand VANTAGE, involving the distribution of 4's packs in all the major market areas.
Our illustrations show some of the advertising which backs some of the promotions described. We apologies if some of the illustrations are not quite as good as they might be but we are having to reproduce from photocopies.