H/T Dick Puddlecote:
Just when it seemed cigarette packs couldn’t be more revolting, expert health marketers are finding new ways to turn people off smokes, like creating a cigarette which looks like it is covered in slime.
The plain packs sporting gruesome pictures are a starting point, according to New Zealand researcher Professor Janet Hoek who was speaking at the Oceania Tobacco Conference 2015 in Perth last week.
Her research investigates how to better use cigarette’s own packaging against smokers and changing the appearance of the ‘stick’ has some dramatic results in testing.
Test participants are less likely to choose a cigarette when it looks like slime or is illustrated with a timeline of minutes of life lost through smoking, compared to the standard cigarette, Prof Hoek said.
“We did some early qualitative work and we looked at reaction that some of these more dissuasive sticks elicited,” she said.
“And if you are in business of de-marketing something, I can tell you it doesn’t get any better than getting reactions like slime, scum, vomit and poo.
“The reason of course we got these reactions because we are directly linking these unpleasant connotations, feeling of dirt and filth, to this very act of consumption so we completely reduce the distance smokers are trying to create.
I was hoping to find a quote from Hoek about ‘using packaging against smokers’, but there wasn’t one.
I suppose that the thing I don’t understand about this is how one bunch of people can get to ‘de-market’ somebody else’s product. If you can do that with tobacco, you can do it with anything. It’s not hard to make anything look ugly.
What’s to stop everything being ‘de-marketed’? What if clothes and cars and food is ‘de-marketed’ by making them look really ugly? What if all advertising is intended to make people stop buying. If you hate consumer society (and many of these people do), then you probably want to stop people buying anything.
But I somehow think that uglifying the world this way says much more about these people than it does about the products they defame. These are very ugly people.
But equally, if it comes to a fight, why not use their own methods against them? Most of these people are pretty ugly already, so why not make them look even uglier? Why not associate Tobacco Control with dirt and filth, and with slime, scum, vomit and poo? Why not de-market the de-marketers?