John Player Special King Size
Japanese Qualitative Study
Specific Discussion Area
Respondents tended to perceive that the package design would suit a hard pack (hinged lid cup) better than a soft pack. However, overall image that respondents perceived from the basic design did not vary between hinged lid cup groups and soft pack groups.
The first impression that the package design gave the respondents tended to be relatively negative, overall. Although respondents understood that the use of gold and black (probably) meant "class" and "dignity", they tended to perceive an image that the pack was something an "overnight millionaire" or a "gangster" would prefer to have.
It should be noted that even those respondents who simply perceived that the package design had "class" and "dignity" tended to mention that a cigarette pack with such a package design "was not suitable" for themselves or that they "hesitated" to carry such a cigarette pack.
Perceived product image
Respondents tended to perceive a "unique" and a "peculiar" product both in taste and aroma from the package design irrespective of age and sex. That the product was "unique" appeared to mean "strong" taste and aroma and lots of tar and nicotine ?ˆ” "bad for health".
In addition, some respondents imagined "colored" cigarettes ?ˆ” either "black" or "cocktail colored".
Thus, reactions were unfavorable and there was a low degree of acceptance concerning the perceived product image.
Perceived occasions of smoking
Some respondents mentioned that one of the suitable places for smoking such a cigarette would be a "night club". As was indicated in this type of comment, many respondents seemed to perceive "image of night" from the package. Actually, it was frequently commented that the pack was not suitable for smoking at the office or after the sports in front of other people.
One interesting comment was that it had an image of "something to smoke secretly at home (at night)?ˆ?. Actually, there was a female respondent who purchased OPS occasionally and smoked it at home.
Perceived smoker image
Respondents tended to perceive, from the package design, that the product was not suitable for "common" people. Typical images of persons to whom the package was said to suit were as follows:
"Overnight millionaires who sold their land and those who act like millionaires"
"People in show business"
"People in bar/night club business"
"Speed crazy youngsters"
Only few respondents commented on charcoal filter on a spontaneous basis. When "prompted", no strong reactions were shown except that a few respondents mentioned that a charcoal filter did not suit the package (because the black package connoted a strong product).
Comparisons with other famous brands
The test package was said to be unique and outstanding among other brands. However, the reactions that most respondents showed were relatively negative ?ˆ” that the pack did not look like a cigarette pack ?ˆ” and most of them tended to prefer others.
In conclusion, the package design was said to connote a strong and "peculiar" product, to be preferred by "outsiders of the society" and to be outside the "normal" range of cigarette package designs, i.e. "not contemporary".