John Player Special King Size
Japanese Qualitative Study
Specific Discussion Area
John Player Special logo:
Awareness and perceived origin
Respondents were first exposed to the golden logo on a black background. At this stage, about half or a little of the respondents in each group mentioned either "I know the brand" or "I think I saw it somewhere..."
However, those who could identify it as "John Player Special" or as a brand of cigarettes were a minority. When it came to experience of smoking JPS (John Player Special) cigarettes, only a few respondents had smoked them when they received them as souvenirs of an overseas trip.
Further, there were more respondents who identified the logo from non-tobacco goods and motor racing than those who were aware that it was a cigarette brand.
Respondents did not appear to be interested in where it came from, but when asked, they tended to mention "U.K." A few respondents seemed to be, apparently aware that JPS (John Player Special) came from U.K., but most of those who did not know it clearly also tended to name the U.K. because:
"It's English (language), but it doesn't look like American design.... I mean the use of gold and black."
"The gold and black coloring connotes British cigarettes."
The golden-colored logo on a black background seemed to communicate "high class" and "dignified" impressions to the respondents. On the other hand, there were many respondents who perceived a kind of image that it was not easy to "identify with" from the same coloring. In terms of preference, it appeared, that the acceptability was not so high.
The black logo on a white background (with "John Player Special" below) seemed to obtain a high degree of acceptance regardless of age and sex. Followings were typical comments:
"It has a clean image."
"It's easy to identify with."
"It has a mild image and matches the current trend."
"It has a kind of soft image compared to gold and black."
Although a few respondents seemed to prefer gold and black logo to black and white logo, it should be noted that even those who preferred gold and black did not reject black and white.
Thus, it was found that although the gold and black logo had a high-class and dignified image, many respondents tended to dislike it while the black and white logo had acceptability among a wider range of respondents and had no particularly negative area.