Kent Menthol 100's (1970-71) King Size (1971)
Excerpts from Kent Review
Prepared by Kent Brand Group
December 7, 1981
Kent Menthol 100's began national distribution on July 27, 1970 following test marketing in the Dallas area beginning in May of 1970.
The menthol style was introduced in the traditional white-with-gold-horizontal-pin- stripes Kent package, but had green lettering and a green rectangle centered above the name.
1970 sales reached 840 million units for a market share of 0.2% and 0.7% of the mentholated filter segment.
Initial expenditures for Kent Menthol 100's were $10.2 million. The style was introduced in every media with $6.9 million in spot and network television, $1.3 million in magazines, $808,000 in newspapers, $626,000 in radio, $384,000 in supplements and $97,000 for outdoor advertising. CPM for 1970 was $14.56.
Commercials were in :30's and :60's and took the form of an announcer asking smokers (actresses) their opinion of the menthol style. Their reply was always, "Wow! Kent's got it all together" which would then be sung by a chorus. The announcer would describe it as, "Brisk, breezy menthol flavor, exclusive micronite filter, and good, rich taste.
Print used similar copy in full-color, full-page magazine ads and full-color, full page hi-fi preprint newspaper ads. Print illustrations centered around the pack on a green background.
Over $2.0 million was also allocated to advertising a Kent king-size menthol in 1970. Spot television received $1.92 million and spot radio $121,000, although the style was not yet on test market.
The 85 mm menthol version was put on the test markets of New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago in April 1971. By July, ads for Kent Menthol king size were noted in national magazines.
Sales for the king size menthol version were 380 million in 1971 for 0.1% of the total market and 0.3% of the mentholated filter segment.
Meanwhile, Kent Menthol 100's sold 1.28 billion in 1971 retaining 0.2% of the total market and jumping to 1.0% of the mentholated filter segment.
The king size version's budget included $617,000 in magazines, $17,000 in supplements, and an undetermined amount in newspapers.
Expenditures for the 100 mm style were $1.55 million in magazines, $1.47 million for outdoor advertisements, $116,000 in supplements and an undetermined amount in newspapers.
Advertising for Kent "Menthol king size centered around "Kent got it all together again!" The package usually provided the only illustration. Later, newspaper ads used a variety of headlines such as, "New Edition of a Best Seller," "Check Out This New Listing,", etc, , in smaller black and white ads.
The 100 mm style's print campaign featured the headline, "What's the word on New Kent Menthol?"Each ad included a different answer, "Lively," "Breezy," "Wow," etc., with the sub head, "Refreshing taste. Micronite Filter. Kent got it all together." Magazine ads were generally full-color, full-pages with smaller black and white ads which generally emphasized "What makes it (Kent) the fastest growing 100?"
The Menthol styles co-sponsored a "Kent Ski-Stakes" in January, 1971(also later in November) with the non-mentholated Kent styles. Entries were to send three bottom flaps from one of the styles or a piece of paper with "Kent" printed on it for the drawing which was held once a month for six months. Prizes included trips to Europe and ski paraphernalia.
In April Kent featured the "Kent Castle Contest." Contestants were to make as many words as possible from the letters in Kent Micronite Filter Cigarettes," and mail the list with two empty packages from any style of Kent. Prizes included 50 trips to England and 1,000 broaches and tie tacs.
Kent Menthol 100's sales dropped to 1.09 billion in 1972. The style's market share remained 0.2%, but its share of the mentholated filter segment slipped to 0.8%.
Lorillard discontinued the 85 mm version in June of 1972, prior to its withdrawal, the style was allocated $41,000 for newspaper advertising.
The 100 mm version received $787,000 for advertising in 1972. The bulk of Kent 100 advertising was outdoor ads with support from magazines. Newspapers also received a small allocation.