Select Committee on Health Minutes of Evidence

2.  Musto, Merriman, Herring & Levi (TB 38)


  CAP's rules and regs considerably restrict what we can do in the UK—particularly with dialogue and wardrobe.

  But CAP rules don't apply outside the UK.

  There are some very good media opportunities targeting UK consumers abroad—particularly aimed at holiday charter flight traffic.

  We want some executions using our characters that don't need to go through CAP's vigorous approval process and that can be tailored to British smokers abroad, many of whom will be buying duty free.


  UK smokers on holiday. Many are smoking other more expensive premium brands (particularly B&H).

  They'll all be looking to buy their duty free quota.

Where will they appear?

  We're looking at the media opportunities available in detail but predominantly:

    —  Airport posters in popular holiday destinations, eg Malaga airport.

    —  Charter airline magazines.

    —  Tabloid press ex-UK editions.


  Lambert & Butler—the half tidy fag at a decent price.


  Lambert & Butler is a quality brand of long standing that's much more affordable than the likes of B&H etc.

Creative Considerations

  1.  Keep the humour very simple and "of the people"—they simply don't get anything remotely trixy.

  2.  Wardrobe and props can be as wild as you like—holiday attire etc.

  3.  Keep the characters' expression warm and friendly.


  Art director's layouts and dialogue able to work in both portrait and landscape format.


  We've got our proposition right and we know that the basic idea of using two characters representing Lambert & Butler meets with a positive response. Indeed, the current work is getting noticed (prompted awareness). But, we are experiencing a problem with empathy—particularly with existing L&B users and we also have a problem with attribution.

THE PROBLEM1.   Empathy

  Most describe our characters as dull, old and a bit stupid. They don't really like the jokes (apart from "Flying Headbut") and they think that the hand tinted photographic effect makes the characters look "death-like".

  We desperately need these people to like our characters and to identify with them (as smokers become more and more persecuted, they look to advertising as a friend).

2.   Attribution

  Surprisingly, the Lambert & Butler branding in the strip above doesn't get noticed as much as we expected it to.


  We know from research that, by making changes to the characters, we get an altered response. Full colour and warmer expressions go some way to making them more likeable.

  However, illustrating our characters has a dramatic effect, making our smoker describe them as friendly, funny and more attractive.

  Furthermore, we know that breaking down the elements (ie not relying on a two line gag everytime) gives the campaign far more flexibility and allows the gag to work visually as well as verbally.

  We now need to move our current campaign on by looking at ways to illustrate Lambert & Butler empathetically, by looking at the brand attribution issue and by looking at breaking down the rigid two line dialogue structure.


  1.  Creative recommendation for an illustrative style for our characters.

  2.  Layouts in the new style.


  CAP are getting stricter. They will not allow any illustrative style that is deemed to be appealing to children. We will need to show them examples before we present to Client.


  On 10 December 1999 all cigarette advertising will be banned in the UK. Any plans to launch new brands must be brought forward to beat the deadline.

  With this in mind, Imperial Tobacco are launching a new low price brand called "Richmond". Our task is to make a big splash in the last five weeks before the run out.

  (1)  Awareness—this is a "one shot" deal.

  (2)  Quality reassurance.


  High rise.


  We wish to consider several approaches:

    (1)  How can it be so cheap yet smoke so well?

    (2)  Richmond is made from the finest Virginia tobacco yet costs only £3.25.

    (3)  Smoke 15 packs of new Richmond and win a lighter (25 and you get a packet of free cigarettes as well).


  Press and posters (pages and 48-sheets).

  Large pack and price mandatory.

  Follow POS on one route.


  Cigarette companies see the gantry as a valuable place to advertise.

  It was felt, that currently, cigarette advertisers are under using the opportunities to promote the brands at the POS's.

  There was no definitive set price and retailers could use their discretion as to what to charge.

  It is clear that Sovereign could use other methods of promotion within the outlet that are not being widely used by the other brands for example, the awning, other points of sale and branded cigarette lighters etc. Stickers seemed to be an over used method of promotion. Cigarette brands are not only competing against each other for space to advertise but also against a plethora of other products on sale. Many advertisers, such as the National Lottery and Time Out magazine, are using stickers on retailer's shop windows and doors to promote their products. Therefore often the melee of stickers often looks confusing and fails to attract the consumer's attention.

Other methods of promotion which might be more effective:

  Sovereign could offer to tile retailer's floors in black and white.

  As cigarette smokers will tend to purchase a newspaper, Sovereign could take the opportunity to place branding around the paper stand or paper gantry.

  There could be a tie up with a newspaper or magazine.



  Imperial are buying full pages in the Spanish editions of the tabloid press giving us an excellent hit at UK holiday makers abroad.

  Because we're advertising outside the UK we don't have to worry about CAP approval. We can therefore be far more flexible with dialogue, props and wardrobe.


  Make L&B front of mind when smokers are thinking about buying cigarettes abroad. Particularly with a view to bringing them back to the UK.


  UK smokers on holiday.

  Many will be smoking other manufacturers' premium brands and particularly B&H.

  We want them to think L&B instead of anything else.


  L&B—worth bringing back.


  A proper cigarette available at an unbelievably good price.


  Apply previous learning:

    —  Keep humour simple and mainstream.

    —  Make sure that the characters are depicted as warm and friendly.

  Avoid showing more than 800 cigarettes (four boxes of 200).


  Layout and copy for page concepts to appear in The Sun and The Mirror.


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