Excerpts from Newport Red Product Research 1982
Summary of Findings
1. The overall evaluations of Newport Red and Marlboro following limited product experience are comparable. This parity of achievement by Newport Red is particularly encouraging, given that the respondent sample in comprised entirely of regular smokers of Marlboro.
• Mean rating scores for Newport Red and Marlboro following limited trial are at basic parity (79 vs. 75). In addition, the likelihood of smoking each brand among those positively disposed toward it, are similarly equal. (56% Newport Red; 51% Marlboro).
• Purchase intent scores, both in a total sense, as well as with regard to firm buying interest are parallel between Newport Red and Marlboro (75% vs. 70% and 16% vs. 18%» respectively).
2. The key difference between Newport Red and Marlboro following limited trial is one of strength of delivery. The data is consistent in reflecting that Newport Red is the stronger, more impactful smoking option, whereas Marlboro is lighter and milder.
• Newport Red was rated significantly higher than Marlboro for "has a rich full-bodied tobacco flavor", "has a satisfying taste", and "tastes good after a meal".
• Directional evaluations for strength of taste, shows Marlboro to be significantly more on the "weak" side than was true for Newport Red (26% vs. 17%).
• . Volunteered commenting, both in a positive and negative fashion, show consistent traces of the strength/mildness dichotomy for Newport Red and Marlboro.
3. Among the key target of 21-24 year olds, Marlboro was, upon limited product trial, a somewhat better overall achiever because of its milder taste.
• 21-24 year olds expressed a significantly higher level of definite buying intent for Marlboro visa-vis Newport Red (24% vs. 8%).
• Likelihood to smoke as one's regular brand show a modest advantage for Marlboro over Newport Red.
• Despite these differences, total levels of positive buying intent and mean rating scores were, nevertheless, comparable.
It appears clear that following limited trial, Marlboro’s lesser strength delivery is the more acceptance level of strength to 21-24 year olds than is Newport Red’s impactful and strong nature.
• Directional evaluations show that 21-24 year olds, moreso than any other subgroup criticized Newport Red for being "too strong" and "having too much taste".
• Marlboro’s singular advantage over Newport Red was with regard to "has a mild taste".
• 21-24 year olds were more verbal about Newport Red’s "strength" as an element disliked, relative to Marlboro, , than were other subgroups.
4. With regard to the remaining subgroups, it seems that 25-34 year olds as well as females, found Newport Red most acceptable relative to Marlboro after limited trial.
• Overall mean ratings show significant advantages for Newport Red over Marlboro among 25-34 year olds (82 vs. 74) and women smokers (82 vs. 76)
• 25-34 year olds expressed a significantly higher level of firm purchase intent in Newport Red than Marlboro (27% vs. 15%). In addition, total positive intent was directionally higher (81% vs. 72%).
• The likelihood of smoking as one's regular brand, reflected a strong advantage for Newport Red visa-vis Marlboro among 25-34 year olds.
• Female smokers, although not more positive in their definite buying intentions for Newport Red than Marlboro, were significantly more positive in their total purchase interest for the new brand (85% vs. 74%).
Again, the basis for these limited trial distinctions are rooted in Newport Red providing a greater initial smoking impact, which is interwoven with the delivery of certain aesthetic-related smoking comforts.
• Among 25-34 year olds and women smokers, Newport Red was judged significantly better than Marlboro for "tasting good after a meal", "having a rich full-bodied tobacco flavor", and "has a satisfying taste".
• In addition, among these same segments, leverage is apparent for Newport Red on aesthetic dimensions including: "is a smooth cigarette", "has a pleasant aftertaste" and "does not cause an unpleasant sensation in my mouth or throat".
• Females evaluated Newport Red significantly more highly than Marlboro regarding "has a strong taste". A strong directional advantage was in evidence among 25-34 year olds.
1. Following extended product trial, Newport Red and Marlboro are again, in the overall sense, parity performers.
• Following extended use, Newport Red attained an average rating of 74 vs. 72for Marlboro.
• Total levels of purchase intent, as well as definite buying intentions were similarly at parity (70% vs. 71%; 23% vs. 27%).
• Expressed likelihood to smoke Newport Red or Marlboro as ones regular brand were also parallel (62% vs. 66%).
2. Although the products were comparable after extended trial once again, the relative acceptability of the brands among the market subgroups changed over time. There was, however, no change among the key 21-24 year olds who again showed a modest partiality for Marlboro over Newport Red.
• Levels of firm and total buying interest, reflect slight advantages for Marlboro among 21-24 year olds after extended product use (24% vs. 19% and 76% vs. 71%).
• The extreme likelihood of smoking Marlboro as one's regular brand was higher than what Newport Red achieved among 21-24 year olds. (24% vs. 14%).
• Newport Red and Marlboro attained identical-mean ratings among 21-24 year olds following extended use (76 vs. 75).
Among other subgroups, extended product usage altered initial assessments. Primarily, the 25-34 year olds and women became less positively disposed toward Newport Red vis-a-vis Marlboro than they had been, and males became far more positive toward Marlboro than they were following limited trial.
• Purchase intent levels and mean ratings among 25-34 year olds and females following extended usage, no longer reflected upon any significant leverage for Newport Red over Marlboro.
• Male smokers, who earlier had assessed the test products as being extremely comparable, expressed a significantly higher extended use "definite" intent for Marlboro over Newport Red (29% vs. 14%). In addition, the likelihood of smoking Marlboro regularly was significantly better than Newport Red (32% vs. 13%).
3. The diagnostic data following extended trial does not meaningfully differ from the earlier presented profile. That is, Newport Red continues to be the more powerful, impactful alternative whereas Marlboro is the lighter, more mild smoking option.
• After extended use, Newport Red was rated significantly higher than Marlboro for "has a strong taste". It additionally was rated modestly higher on a number of closely related taste benefits: "tastes good after a meal", "has a rich, full bodied tobacco flavor" and "has a satisfying taste".
• Marlboro’s largest rating advantage, vis-a-vis Newport Red was for "has a mild taste".
• Directional evaluations after extended usage show Marlboro, rather than Newport Red, as being both significantly more on the weak side as well as having a significantly lesser taste impact.
• As before, volunteered commenting tends to support the pattern of strength vs. mildness.
The extended trial assessments show that although the strength vs. mildness distinction is ever-present, females and younger smokers recognize it moreso than other market segments.
• Only 21-24 year olds and women smokers evaluated Newport Red significantly higher than Marlboro for "has a strong taste".
• 21-24 year olds and females are far more critical of Newport Red’s "strong taste", relative to Marlboro than are other market subgroups.
4. Closely linked to the basic strength vs. mildness dichotomy, is a body of data which suggests that the stronger tasting Newport Red is more prone to generate criticism regarding aesthetic smoking dimensions. It is one thing to provide a strong taste delivery but Newport Red may be achieving this at the sacrifice of other desired product benefits.
• Newport Red has fallen off significantly in its rating from the point of initial trial in all of the following aesthetic product areas: "has a mild taste", "has a pleasant aftertaste", "has a smooth easy draw", "has a satisfying taste", "does not cause an unpleasant sensation in the mouth or throat", "is a smooth cigarette", "has the right balance of low tar and taste" and "has a good filter".
• By way of comparison, Marlboro’s rating fall-offs are restricted only to "does not cause unpleasant sensations in my mouth or throat" and "has a mild taste".
• Volunteered commenting after extended use, show greater criticisms of Newport Red rather than Marlboro for causing "negative smoking reactions".