This document is key in understanding why Philip Morris is secure in going from actively pursuing the youth market to declaring, extensively and through ubiquitous advertising campaigns, that the company doesn't want kids to smoke.
In 1991, Carolyn Levy (then of PM's Marketing Research department) contracted with a company called Rapaille Associates to study the emotional reasons why people smoke, presumably so the company could better leverage these emotions in advertising and promotions. Rapaille interviewed people about their first experiences with smoking. (Many of the people he interviewed reported that these experiences occurred when they were between 4 and 9 years old). Rapaille noted that typically the first experience with smoking involved seeing an admired adult do it, feeling that that they were excluded from the activity, and that they strongly wanted to be included. Rapaille ultimately linked smoking with adult initiation rituals, risk taking, bonding with peers and the need for kids to feel like they belong to a group and can partake in an "adult activity." The study states
"The first imprinting of smoking is that adults do it, and I'm excluded...A critical element at this stage is the fact that the individual is on the 'outside,' excluded..."
The report makes recommendations to PM's marketing department based on these findings:
"Recommendations based on the Archetype:
Stress that smoking is for adults only
Make it difficult for minors to obtain cigarettes
Continue having smoking perceived as a legitimate, albeit morally ambiguous adult activity. Smoking should occupy the middle ground between activities that everyone can partake in vs. activities that only the fringe of society embraces.
Stress that smoking is dangerous. Smoking is for people who like to take risks, who are not afraid of taboos, who take life as an adventure to prove themselves.
Emphasize the ritualistic elements of smoking, particularly fire and smoke.
Emphasize the individualism/conformity dichotomy Stress the popularity of a brand, that choosing it will reinforce your identity AND your integration into the group.
This explains why PM supports--and advertises widely that it supports-- restricting sales cigarette sales to minors and moving cigarettes out of reach of kids. Aside from the now well-known political advantages that PM's "youth smoking prevention" programs confer, this explains why PM feels comfortable in advertising its "kids shouldn't smoke" campaigns. The company knows that the more they can project a finger-wagging, forbidden-fruit, "adults-only"-type message about smoking, the more they will stimulate kids to smoke.
Carolyn Levy, the PM scientist who headed the Archetype Project (and who had experience studying both addiction and youth marketing), was appointed the first head of PM's youth smoking prevention department in 1993.
TypeREPT, REPORT, OTHER
Named PersonFeinhandler, Sherwin J. Ph.D. (Behavioral/Social consultant to tobacco industry)
This report was the basis for a presentation on the Archetype Project in which each slide/page bore the Philip Morris crest. You can see the final PM presenatation here: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/oeh83c00
Here is Rapaille's contract agreement with Philip Morris (Carolyn Levy) to perform the Archetype studies:
Other documents bearing the name of this project are marked "privileged" and can not be viewed.
An archetype if a "mental highway" (neuronal pathway) which has been imprinted at an early age and is used each time we perform an action. The imprinting experience imparts the significant meaning that an object or action will have for an individual.
The first imprinting of smoking is that adults do it, and I'm excluded. Usually these are significant adults, typically a parent or grandparent who is respected and is associated with warmth, strength and/or protection. Adults are seen smoking when they're socializing (especially in the kitchen), having fun, or relaxing. A critical element at this stage is the fact that the individual is on the "outside," excluded...
The second step is a type of initiation/rite of passage and may occur before or during adolescence. Typically two or more friends steal cigarettes from a parent and sneak away to a private place to smoke. More often than not they either get sick or punished (or both) as a result. Here we see a transition from "excluded" to "included." The newly formed group becomes bound together by their shared risk-taking...
Important elements at this stage include:
an adult activity
a product which is hard to get your hands on
a behavior which is morally ambiguous/an "adult secret"
engaging in the activity as part of a group/to belong to the group
going to a secret place in order to hide your behavior
--risk of getting caught/punished -
...As an adult, smoking reactivates this mental highway. Unconsciously it reactivates the strong emotion related to the initiation into adulthood. Does it do this each time we smoke? Yes, the same mental highways are used, but not all of the emotion is experienced...
[From page 5]:
Recommendation based on the Archetype:
--Stress that smoking is for adults only --Make it difficult for minors to obtain cigarettes --Continue having smoking perceived as a legitimate, albeit morally ambiguous adult activity. Smoking should occupy the middle ground between activities that everyone can partake in vs. activities that only the fringe of society embraces.
--Stress that smoking is dangerous. Smoking is for people who like to take risks, who are not afraid of taboos, who take live as an adventure to prove themselves. --Emphasize the ritualistic elements of smoking, particularly fire and smoke. --Emphasize the individualism/conformity dichotomy Stress the popularity of a brand, that choosing it will reinforce your identity AND your integration into the group.
--Because of the American culture, rest or reward should always be in anticipation of the next action, not a final reward. --American identity should be the core...growing, searching and striving.
- Philip Morris
- Presumed author, Rapaille Associates
- Presumed recipient, Philip Morris
Assisted PM by describing the social benefits of smoking. Work was seminal in
Kroc, R. -founder of McDonalds restaurant chain
Youth Smoking Prevention Programs (Industry-sponsored youth smoking prevention programs)
Designed to stave off further legislated marketing restrictions
youth risk behavior surveillance
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ARCHETYPE PROJECT SUMMARY
An archetype is a "mental highway" (neuronal pathway) which has
been imprinted at an early age and is used each time we perform
an action. The imprinting experience imparts the significant
meaning that an object or action will have for an individual.
The first imprinting of smoking is that adults do it, and 2'm
excluded. Usually these are significant adults, typically a
parent or grandparent who is respected and is associated with
warmth, strength and/or protection. Adults are seen smoking when
they're socializing (especially in the kitchen), having fun, or
relaxing. A critical element at this stage is the fact that the
individual is on the "outsidelf, excluded. (See Appendix A for
The second step is a type of initiation/rite of passage and may
occur before or during adolescence. Typically two or more
friends steal cigarettes from a parent and sneak away to a
private place to smoke. More often than not they either get sick
or punished (or both) as a result. Here we see a transition from
"excluded" to "included". The newly formed group becomes bound
together by their shared risk-taking. (See Appendix B for
Important elements at this stage include:
- an adult activity
- a product which is hard to get your hands on
- a behavior which is morally ambiguous/an "adult secret"
- engaging in the activity as part of a group/to belong to the
- going to a secret place in order to hide your behavior
- risk of getting caught/punished
- getting "sick"
There are numerous references to this aspect of smoking in the
literature. Here is one particularly illustrative excerpt:
"Law and the mores deny high school students the right to
enjoy the pleasures derived from tobacco, gambling and
alcohol. However, the mystery with which adults surround
these areas of behavior lends them a special value which
seems to act as a stimulus to many young people who desire
to experience the supposed thrill of pleasures their elders
deny them. Transgressing the restrictions imposed by law
and taboo is a source of excitement, both individually and
within the clique of the initiated. This kind of excitement,
of course, does not appeal to all adolescents". (Stepney,
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We believe that the imprinting experiences give smoking a
symbolic association with "friend". This association may explain
the high brand loyalty found in our industry. _
As an adult, smoking reactivates this mental highway.
Unconsciously it reactivates the strong emotion related to the
initiation into adulthood. Does it do this each time we smoke?
Yes, the same mental highways are used, but not all of the
emotion is experienced. Other research confirms only occasional
cigarettes are perceived by smokers as particularly rewarding
(Stepney, p.340). We hypothesize that cigarettes smoked in
situations containing elements from imprinting and/or initiation
would be more likely to fully reactivate the mental highway (see
Appendix C for examples)
The American archetype of smoking is:
Smoking is a social ritual which enables us to express and
reaffirm our self image. When we smoke, we reactivate the
initiation into adulthood which acknowledged our individual-
ism and bound us to our peer group.
Several concepts need to be discussed more fully before all of
the implications of the Archetype are apparent:
The American Culture
American culture is a young culture which emphasizes improvement,
achievement, freedom, self-actualization, second chances,
impossible dreams, etc. Inextricably bound to these ideas is the
notion of constant growth, never being satisfied. In a sense,
Americans are striving to succeed, regardless of how much success
they have already achieved. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds
put it this way, "When you're green you grow; when you ripen, you
rot" (Robbins, p.382).
There is anxiety associated with the American culture, since vou
are responsible if you don't succeed. This can be contrasted
with French culture, for example, where the "system" can be
blamed for your inability to succeed. We propose that smoking is
an activity that helps people deal with the anxiety inherent in
the American culture.
People need rituals. If this need is not filled by smoking, it
will be filled by some other activity. According to Hans Selye
the issue is not "yes" or "no", but "which".
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Many authors have acknowledged the ritualistic aspects of
"rites always designate specific behaviors related to
precise situations and rules, marked by repetition, whose
role is not obvious" (Maisonneuve, p. 5)
"The learning and perfecting of ritual acts may also serve
to neutralize arousal and reduce strain during the process
of conversion. Ritual activity may be required in the
performance of new roles". (Sarbin and Nucci, p. 187)
"By repeatedly performing a ritualized act, the smoker can
structure his world and make it more familiar.
(Feinhandler, p. 137)
"There is no question that a great deal of smoking, although
far from all, is part of a complex social ritual".
"Smoking (is) a ritual to demonstrate solidarity with others
of the same age who due to apparent repression by their elders
attempt to distance themselves from adults". (Muller in
wetterer and von Troschke, p.3a)
We believe conceptualizing smoking as a social ritual is
Rituals involve taboos
Smoking is part of a rite of passage
Rituals fulfill roles that have been attributed by others
Rituals are noted for their ability to reduce anxiety
Rituals often reinforce social bonds
Ritualistic elements can have strong sacred/symbolic
Smoking's role in defining self image has been well documented.
"There seems to be some evidence that the use of cigarettes
is a form of expressive behavior which functions for many
smokers as a part of the definition of self-concept".
"The importance of smoking in defining self-images is also
great. The majority of adult smokers think that a
photograph of themselves without a cigarette would not show
'the real me', whilst a picture of them with a cigarette
would"', (Stepney, p.329)
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"It can therefore be assumed that smoking functions as a
means whereby young people can identify themselves with
these characteristics (maturity, strength, wisdom and
attractiveness). Sn short, it helps them to identify and
dcmonstrate their ideal 'self image'^. (Wetterer and von
Mausner and Platt (p. 12) describe a study conducted by Weir
in which male models photographed with a cigarette were more
often described as adventurous, rugged, daring, energetic
and individualistic than the same models without a
Initiation Into Adulthood
Robb has described smoking as one of several behaviors that are
"anticipatory rites of passage".
"Unlike fully established rites of passage these behaviors
would seem to be directed not towards superordinate groups but
to peers or to even more subordinate groups".
"The anticipatory celebration of maturity, I suggest,
represents a kind of attempted seizing of status in advance, a
claimed achievement, not the acceptance of something
Other behaviors that are used in a similar fashion by adolescents
may involve sex, alcohol, driving fast, etc.. It is not clear
why smoking is chosen by some people and not others.
Central to American culture is the dichotomy between
individualism and conformity.
According to Varenne (p. 57-59),
"The polarity between individualism and conformity gives
Americans a double message;
1. Be independent: achieve, be unique!
2. Be well integrated: conform!
Because these two dicta are fused in American ideology, they
are able to coexist with equal moral weight."
"In the United States, having chosen to purchase the same item
creates an immediate affinity among Americans if they meet."
.^personal recommendation and word of mouth are the best
sales techniques of all."
"All this shows that in the United States, through exercise
of original choice, people not only demonstrate their
uniqueness, they also recognize and actualize their
integration with others. They do this by making,
acknowledging, and perpetuating social ties based solely on
the affinity that arises through making the same choices."
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Recommendations Based on The Archetvne
o Strasc that smoking is for adults only
o Make it difficult for minors to obtain cigarettes
a Continue to have smoking perceived as a legitimate, albeit
morally ambiguous, adult activity. Smoking should occupy
the middle ground between activities that everyone can
partake in vs. activities that only the fringe of society
o Stress that smoking is dangerous
- Smoking is for people who like to take risks, who are not
afraid of taboos, who take life as an adventure to prove
o Emphasize the ritualistic elements of smoking, particularly
fire and smoke
o Emphasize the individualism/conformity dichotomy
- Stress the popularity of a brand, that choosing it will
reinforce your identity and your integration into the group.
o Because of the American culture, rest or reward should always
be in anticipation of the next action, not a final reward
o American identity should be the core. . . growing, searching,
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Father rarely smoked, and often was irritable temperament and
upset, but I remember an early time when he and his father-in-Law
. were smoking together, very amicably and continued after a nice
meal (usually they didn't get along well). The mixed aroma of
pipe tobacco and cigarette were very pleasant and today I still
like such aromas.
I remember my Dad and his Pall Mall straights. I remember him
looking young and tan with that cigarette always in his mouth. I
picture him in white tee-shirt, dark tan and cigarette mowing the
lawn and playing cards. I was 3 years old.
My grandfather was gutting and cleaning a deer, lit a cigarette.
I asked what it was, he told me and gave me one; it made me sick.
I guess it was his way of teaching me a lesson.
I remember being in the lunch room sitting on the floor. I was
probably five. There were several adults in the room, maybe five
mostly male. They were talking and watching TV, possibly sports.
At least several of them were smoking. The smoking seemed to be,
at least to a five year old, what was really the most important
event in the room. Several times after that I remember copying
their behavior, using crayons (crayolas) as my cigarattes.
I don't really remember my first experience with smoking. My
parents have always smoked. I guess what I remember most is my
father who every morning, would go to the kitchen table, get a cup
of coffee and light a cigarette. He always smiled and was very
happy on most mornings. I don't ever remember him being in a bad
I remember my father in his orange chair relaxing talking to me
and smoking. I would only change myself to be sitting on his lap
while we talked.
* Participants were asked to describe their first experience N
with smoking. If they wanted to change anything about the o
experience, they were asked to note that also. o
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Appendix A -- (Continued)
S was about 3-4 years old in the evening. My father and I were
in the living room. He was seated at the end of the couch,
ashtray (glass) on the end table. There was a white china lamp
on the table. I believe we were watching television. My father
would puff on his cigarette and take the pack, slide the
cellophane back on the pack, not all the way, then he took a litt
cigarette, burned a small round hole in the cellophane. Eie then
would hold the pack up and blow smoke into the cellophane chamber
and tap the bottom to make the pack puff. This would blow smoke
rings in the air. I thought that was neat and got a big kick out
1 was about 4 or 5, my mom was in the kitchen cooking. I saw her
smiling - it seemed to be like a friend she had with her. Her
ash tray lighter and cigarette all together very neat.
At my grandmother and grandfather's house in Brooklyn, NY. My
paternal grandfather was visiting them and I was there. We were
all sitting at a metal kitchen table in the center of the
kitchen. My grandpas were talking over a shot of whiskey and a
loaf of rye bread. My paternal grandfather was smoking Pall Mall
cigarettes. I remember from the red pack. His fingertips were
stained from the nicotine. I remember him laughing and teasing
me a little to take a little whiskey and bread. I think I was
about seven years old.
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On or around 1969 - 6 years old - Greg and I took a pack of Kools
of my Dad's and Went down to the barn - smoked everyone of them.
3 days later my dad seen the cigarette butts and we got a
I was 8 years old when my baby-sitter started me and my sisters
smoking. I was scared they would damage my health but people
kept telling me they wouldn't hurt me if I didn't inhale. When I
was 12 or 13 everyone said "you had to inhale or people would
make fun o£ you." That's when I learned to inhale the smoke and
I've been doing it ever since. If I could change anything it
would be the day I gave into peer pressure and began to inhale
the smoke and I've been doing it ever since.
My first experience was smoking behind a sweet shop in Ohio. It
wasn't cold but not warm. My best friend and I wanted to learn
to smoke. A girl we admired showed us how to inhale--we thought
she was so mature and wise we wanted to be just like her. We
thought we had really grown up that day. It was a secret between
my friend and I--a special bond for along time. At this time I
- '.ras not a very popular girl--but I felt important when she took
time to teach us that. I would only change my needy personality
that made me want to smoke to make friends.
I was 7--my 9 year old sister and 15 year old sister and myself
were in my mother's and father's bedroom. My older sister shuts
the door and lights a cigarette she has stolen from my mother.
She pressures my other sister and myself to take a puff so we
can't tell on her. I felt a little guilt and a lot of adventure.
I didn't like it but I wanted to do it again anyway. Now I
wished I would have said "That's awful" and never touched
another--but I would have had to have been someone else and I
don't want to be someone else.
My first experience was when I was 10 years old. My girl friend's
mother smoked. My girl friend stole a cigarette from her mother
and we went to her garage in her back yard to smoke it. We went
in the garage, and in there was an old green (225) car. We would
take turns on pretending to drive and smoke our (her mothers)
cigarettes. we never inhaled. We used to see how long we could
get the ashes before they fell.
My first experience with smoking was with a group of my high
school buddies. We had skipped classes, and went down to the
river where we sat on the rocks. We shared stories about family,
school, playing ball while we drank beer and smoked cigarettes.
Both the beer and smoke were very difficult to swallow, yet I
felt the pressure to participate. It could have tasted better.
This was my powerful experience since it is the one I most
vividly remember. Again, although the taste could have been
better it was a great feeling of sharing this daredevil ,
experience with my friends.
* Participants were asked to describe their most powerful
experience associated with smoking. If they wanted to change
anything about the experience, they were asked to note that
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Two weeks ago - hung out late at my non-smoking office with my
smoker boss. Everyone went home and she and I got a Pepsi can
out of trash and smoked in the office. It was fun!
I was verbally abused by a non-smoker, I hit him. Felt real
On my new job, after working about 5 hours, all the employees
went out to smoke since we work where smoking isn't allowed.
This is when I actually got to meet co-workers.
I was smoking a cigarette with a co-worker and we were chatting,
gossiping, etc. It was very pleasant and congenial and I felt a
sense of camaraderie.
My mother and I stayed up late last night after my husband went
to bed just so we could have a"peaceful" cigarette together
without my husband bothering me about smoking.
Recently, I attended a party where there were only a handful of
smokers--we smoked in the corner by an open door. It seemed the
most intelligent and interesting of the group were in the smoking
area and pretty soon the non-smokers decided it was OK to smoke
The latest experience I have had with smoking is with all the
anti-smoking campaigns going on now. It's a joke before all this
started I was ready to quit. But now? Not a chance.
While having a cigarette at work 2 months ago someone said that I
shouldn't do that there-acting like her rights have been invaded
(also it was a designated smoking area) and I told her to #$*!)!!!
I bought a house a few weeks ago and after we closed I smoked a
cigarette and felt good when it was all over and the house was
* Participants were asked to describe a recent experience with
smoking. If they wanted to change anything about the
experience, they were asked to note that also.
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Feinhandler, S. J. 1986. The Social Role of Smoking.
In R. D. Tollison (ed.), Smoking and societv.
Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company.
Feinhandler, S. J. 1981. Social Function As A Component Of
Market Value. Presented At Analysis Of Consumer Policy.
Wharton Applied Research center, University of Pennsylvania.
Maisonneuve, J. 1988. Rituals.
Paris: Presses Univesitaires de France.
Mausner, B. 1973. An Ecological View of Cigarette Smoking.
Journal of Abnormal Psycholoav 81, 115-126.
Mausner, B. and Platt, E. S. 1971 Smoking: A Behavioral
Analvsis. New York: Pergamon Press.
Robb, J. H. 1986. smoking As an Anticipatory Rite of Passage:
Some Sociological Hypotheses on Health - Related Behavior.
Social Science and Medicine 23, 621-627.
Robbins, A. 1986. Unlimited Power, New York: Fawcett Columbine.
Sarbin, T. R. and Nucci, L. P. 1973. Self-Reconstitution
Processes: A Proposal For Reorganizing The Conduct Of
Confirmed Smokers. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology 81,
Stepney, R. 1980. Smoking Behaviour: A Psychology of the
cigarette Habit. British Journal of Diseases of the Chest
Varenne, H. 1986. Svmbolizincr America. Omaha; University of
Wetterer, A, and von Troschke, J. 1986. Smoker Motivation.
New York: Springer-Verlag.