Tobaccos burning

Tobacco harvesting in Cuba (Wikimedia)The tragedy of the tobacco market is not the regulation by public health policies. Non-smoker protection is fine even with most smokers. No, the tragedy of this industry is the recent dominance of bad ads for cheap-and-cheerless low price brands; or traditional strong brands being traded down. In a market that was far ahead of most others in touching peoples hearts, with strong archetypal symbols and narratives, owning mindspace even among non-smokers, this is nothing less than a marketing tragedy. The consumer imagery evoked by current tobacco advertising is not one of a character with an indulgence but of an addict pinching his pennies. If there was any more reason you need for quitting, here it is. Where are the super-premium strategies, the images that will stick for decades through even heavier regulated years to come? Blank. Here’s the first cultural tradition readying itself for extinction.


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