Summarizes findings from focus groups with young adult Hispanic smokers (male/female). Examines relevance and appeal of Camel advertising and wider camel cigarettes. Identifies minimal appeal of wider camel and problems with target communication among Hispanics studied.
Gender mentioned, no differentiation possible
Bellis, J. V.
Lindquist, W. S.
Fackelman, E. J.
Weber, J. D.
Murphy, D. H.
Strauss, G. G.
YAHS (Young Adult Hispanic Smokers)
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BID #90-82501 February 15, 1990
TO: Mr. W. S. Lindquist FROM: J. V. Bellis
HISPANIC L.A. EXPLORATORY FOR FC AND
NEW CAMEL FAMILY ADS
Mr. E. J. Fackelman
Mr. J. D. Weber
Mr. G. G. Strauss
Mr. E. Turregano (Bravo)
PUBLISHED BY THE MARKETING RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO USA, WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. 27102
RJRT Fam 6752 - Rev. 7/88
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LA EXPLORATORY FOR FC AND NEW CAMEL FAMILY ADVERTISIN.r, ~.:.
(BID M82501 -
I. MANAGEMENT SUMARY
To summarize learning from focus groups conducted tfl -
explore the appeal and relevance of FC advertising campaigns,
new Camel family advertising, Camel premiums, and the
general market VF campaign among target young adult Hispanic
In anticipation of FC's launch into the PMSA in May; 1990,
target Hispanic input toward the FC concept and toward
alternative Hispanic adaptations of general market FC
advertising was needed. The Hispanic adaptation of the
general market FC campaign was of particular concern since
the general market creative borrowed heavily from American
Concurrently, RJR was exploring new advertising approaches/
formats for Old Joe in order to keep Camel advertising fresh
and appealing to the target. There was a need to assess the
appeal of a variety of these new formats.
Additionally, there was a need to assess the female Hispanic
smokers' interest in the VF proposition and campaign.
Finally, in order to make maximum use of qualitative research
conducted on the West Coast, potential premium items for
Camel were also screened.
Although not a primary objective, the groups began exploration
into the'feasibility/potential of a Hispanic targeted brand.
C. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES:
o To explore the appeal and relevance of the FC proposition
among target Hispanic male smokers (pack/cigarette configu-
ration and smoking benefits).
o To explore the appeal and communication of Hispanic FC
advertising adaptations relative to each other and relative
to the general market FC campaign among target Hispanic
o To explore the appeal and relevance of the FV proposition v
(advertising, packaging) to YA Hispanic female smokers. tNn
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o To explore the appeal and communication of new Camel family
'" advertising formats and to identify their potential advantages
. relative to the current format. ~... -"
o To explore the appeal and purchase requirements that.target
smokers attach to new potential premium items for Camel.
o To explore target smoker attitudes and perceptions toward
existing products/brands that are targeted to Hispanics and/or
that have a Latin heritage. '
D. HYPOTHESES EXPLOREN
o That the FC proposition will have at least moderate appeal to
target male smokers (due more to the promise of smoother taste
than to the wider configuration).
o That the FC advertising adaptations will present the same
potential for generating strong appeal/entertainment value
and communication as the general market FC campaign.
o That the FV proposition will have moderate appeal at best to
YA Hispanic female smokers because of its lack of heritage/
big brand status and because its packaging/advertising is
targeted to the Anglo female mindset (i.e., a less feminine,
more independent/self-confident mindset).
o That the new Camel family advertising formats will generate
the same strong levels of appeal and entertainment value that
were observed when 75th Birthday/Old Joe were first developed,
and that target smokers will welcome the change to a new format.
o Those Camel premium items that strike the best balance of
usefulness, high perceived value and uniqueness will generate
the strongest appeal.
o Only those products/brands with an established Latin heritage
can be successfully targeted to Hispanics.
Six focus groups were held in Los Angeles on January 8 and 9, 1990.
All groups consisted of 18-24 year old Hispanic, non-college,
smokers of competitive full priced FFNM or FFLTNM filtered brands.
Of the six groups, two were females and four were males.
All respondents had Spanish as their primary language used at home
and regularly used Spanish language media.
Prior to commencing discussion on the key topics outlined above,
all groups were administered an attitudinal pack sort using the
most popular brands in L.A., were probed for Camel advertising
and promotion awareness, and were probed on awareness/trial/
purchase of Magna.
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General attitudes and brand perceptions were discussed in
aIlgroups. The VF creative was exposed to women only.
FC packaging and prototypes were exposed to men only, althou$h.
FC advertising was exposed to both sexes.
NOTE: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH CAVEAT
As with all qualitative research, this type of consumer
feedback provides a basis for further developing and
evaluating hypotheses and should be viewed as suggestive
rather than definitive or projectable. :r
F. SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGSt(AS RELATED TO HYPOTHESES):
1. The FC proposition did not hold appeal to the target
male smoker. This was due to the following:
a. High level of satisfaction with YAHS' current brand
b. A key consumer benefit relevant to the target was not
c. FC perception was that of a stronger cigarette for
d. "Wider" did not translate to "smoother taste."
2. The FC advertising adaptations did not generate strong
appeal/entertainment value and communication (as compared
the general market or in the absolute).
o A key consumer benefit relevant to the target was not
o Campaign was not seen as different from regular Camel
advertising, thereby eliminating "news value," r`novelty "
or surprise elements.
o While YAHS liked the idea of teaser advertising, these
executions did not imply that something major or of
great importance was about to be introduced.
The "Ya viene el gordo" adaptation was preferred. The mention
of smoothness helped to neutralize the strong cigarette
perception. The adaptation also resulted in the cigarette
being called "El Gordo," which was seen as catchy and easy
to remember. A potential problem for this adaptation, however,
is its similarity to an existing advertising campaign in
California for the state lottery. Future efforts should
concentrate on explicitly communicating a consumer benefit
such as "wider equals smoother."
The FV proposition did not appeal to Hispanic women in
that it did not communicate a relevant benefit such as
style, femininity or elegance. It did not communicate
a consistent image. Certain executions communicated
roughness, low-class, and social isolation.
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S. Camel premiums which were seen as most useful, valuable
and unique were preferred. In this case, the white box
lighter with the flip-open lid and the white T-shirt
with the "pack" of camels on the back.
The Camel family advertising formats did not generate
the same strong levels of appeal and entertainment
,value seen when 75th Birthday was first developed.~~`^
The new formats were not easily distinguished from
existing advertising. The format which uses a photo-
graph to display the girl in the background was
preferred due to YAHS strong interest in seeing pretty
girls. The photograph made the girl more realistic
and interesting to the men. r
Executions which portray the camel as the hero who
is in control and admired by women are preferred over
those in which the camel is an active participant in
the activity. The former is consistent with YARS'
dreams and aspirations.
6. Hispanics appear to be open and receptive to a new
brand of cigarettes which is specifically targeted
to them. However, the brand must demonstrate superior
benefits over their existing brand in order to affect
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. DEFAILED FINDINGS:
Respondents did not appear to be personally interested
in.a wider cigarette for many reasons:
o New brands are considered "low interest." 'YAHS are
very happy/satisfied with their usual brand (in most
cases, Marlboro). There does not appear to be a
reason to walk away from a brand that they consider
to be the "gold standard" in terms of quality, taste
and acceptance among peers.
o Respondents for the most part could not translate
"wider" into a perceived benefit. Once probed,
respondents felt that perhaps a wider cigarette would
be much stronger because of the additional quantity
and concentration of tobacco. A wider Camel was seen
as being a stronger Camel. This was considered to be
a negative on top of a negative in that some YARS
still consider regular Camel as being too strong for them.
o The perception that FC would be very strong translated
into a belief that the cigarette was more appropriate for
older smokers who had graduated over time to a stronger
o Some respondents felt that perhaps a wider cigarette
would be one that would last longer. They saw this
as an "economy" message, i.e., more smoking for the
money. This was not considered appealing in that
they like to be seen with a cigarette that is considered
high quality and almost a status symbol; buying an
economy brand goes against this motivation.
o No one translated wider into smoother or smoother tasting.
Respondents were shown the packaging and later given
boxes to handle.
o When first exposed to the package, respondents did not
notice that this was a line extension for regular Camel. N
They believed that this was, in fact, regular Camel. o
o Even after handling the packaging, approximately only N
half noticed that it was measurably wider. m
o There was some confusion as to how many cigarettes this ~
new package contained. Was this the regular Camel in
greater quantity? Was this FC with fewer cigarettes?
Or was the box indeed wider because the cigarettes were wider?
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c. Cigarette Prototypes
Prototypes were distributed to respondents.
o Once seeing and feeling the cigarette fn'their
hands, respondents felt that the new size was
acceptable to them. Nonetheless, YA}IS did not
particularly see the wider.size as an advantage
over their current brand.
d. Advertising Campaigns '
Three executional series were presented. Each one
included a teaser, and introductory board, and a
sustaining board. The series were as follows:
i. Llego un nuevo tipazo, el mas ancho (teaser)
El mas ancho, nuevo Camel wides (intro)
Sabor a todo lo ancho (sustaining)
ii. Ya viene el gordo (teaser) -
Nuevo el gordo, suave Camel wides (intro)
Sabor en gordo (sustaining)
iii. Ya viene el gordo, es una fiera (teaser)
Es una fiera, nuevo Camel wides (intro)
Sabor en gordo (sustaining)
None of the adaptations presented the expected
potential for generating strong appeal/entertainment
value and communication as the general market FC
campaign. The following are possible reasons:
o The campaign was not seen as sufficiently
different from regular Camel's advertising to
create "news value" or an element of surprise.
The advertising was not seen as unique.
o While YAHS liked the idea of teaser advertising,
the teasers in these executions did not appear
to promise anything "new and major" or anything
that would heighten their sense of anticipation
or excitement. As already mentioned, new brands
appear to be low interest.
o None of the campaigns communicated a relevant
consumer benefit. Even after one execut on was
revise to say smooth," it was not sufficient
to communicate that wider equals smoother taste.
At best, reference to smooth in this particular
execution neutralized the expectation that the
cigarette would be stronger.
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Additional learning on the advertising is as follows:
o Series #2 (Ya viene el gordo) was preferred.
-- Many respondents started calling the cigarettb
"E1 Gordo." This was seen as catchy and proprietary.
- Mention of "smooth" helped to neutralize the
stronger cigarette expectation.
- The camels' more formal dress style vs.the one with
more casual clothing was seen as positive and
elevating the quality expectation of the b)rand
and the user.
o Series # 3(Ya viene el gordo, es una fiera) was
the one least liked.
- the word fiera (beast) translated into a"strong,
very powerful, harsh cigarette."
- Fiera also has connotations of "ferocious." This
was seen as incompatible with the likeable, simpatico
nature of the camels.
- The casual dress style of the camels downgraded the
image, and appeared to some as representing street
hoodlums. The street-alley background of the"se executions
coupled with the dress probably contributed to the perception.
o Series # 1 (Llego un nuevo tipazo, el mas ancho)
received mixed reviews compared to the other two.
- Some liked the clarity of the communication, i.e.,
it clearly describes the cigarette as being wider.
- Some were amused by the sexual connotations they assigned
to this creative.
- However, in general, this was seen as lukewarm/not
too interesting advertising.
o While these campaigns were not disliked, the moderator
believes that future efforts should concentrate on
communicating that wider equals smoother taste. In
other words, a key consumer-oriented benefit needs to
be communicated strongly and as literally as possible
without sacrificing creativity.
o It is important to note that a large number of respondents
equated the "El Gordo" campaigns with the California
State Lottery's Hispanic campaign. Many stated that
not only was the copy identical, but that there were many
similarities with the "look" of the campaign. This
should be examined further not only for reasons of
uniqueness (or lack thereof), but for legal implications
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. VF BRAND FOR WOMEN (DAKOTA)
a. Proposition & Advertising
As currently represented in the advertising campaign,
young adult Hispanic female smokers do not appear to
be interested or attracted to the Dakota brand.
o Respondents were happy with their existing brands.
o The campaign did not promise a meaningful benefit.
Many respondents could not explain what the benefit
of the brand would be. When probed, some mentioned
that the product would be smooth because the copy
read, "Where smooth comes easy." However, female
smokers are satisfied with the level of smoothness
of their existing brands.
o The campaign did not communicate a distinct image.
It did not communicate that this was a cigarette for
women. This was due to the inclusion of men in
the smoking occasions.
o Some executions ("Cowgirl" and "Motorbike Girl")
communicated negatives such as "loneliness" or
"solitary - not sociable" activity, or too much
independence and roughness.
o The "three people on bikes " execution downgraded
the product as being for "bikers or rough types."
o Respondents preferred the executions with the
female friends in social occasions, or the couple
because of the romantic implications.
o The brand did not come across as feminine or elegant,
two important elements with the female Hispanic mindset.
o Respondents like the packaging, particularly the
grey version for its "more stylish and elegant"
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3. CAMEL FAMILY ADVERTISING FORMATS
Two versions were presented:
a. Background girl as photograph b. Camel as participant in activity
Neither one generated the same strong levels of appeal and
entertainment value that were observed when 75th Birthday/Old Joe
were first developed. ~-
Neither format was seen as a departure from current advertising
on an unaided basis. Therefore, there was no element of newness
or surprise to generate that excitement.
Version A (Background girl as photograph) was preferred. YAHS
are strongly attracted to pretty women in advertising and making
the girl in the background more realistic by means of photography
was seen as a definite plus.
Respondents prefer to see the camel as hero as portrayed in the
current campaign. When the camel was placed as an active participant
in the situation, he lost the important aspects of "being in control,"
"being the object of desire by women," "being a smooth character."
He was no longer "larger than life." As one respondent expressed
it, "(Camel as participant) is where we already are; (Camel as Hero)
is where we want to be."
4. CAMEL PREMIUMS
Camel premium items that had the best balance of usefulness,
high perceived value and uniqueness generated the strongest
appeal. The best performers were the White Camel box lighter
with the flip-open lid and the White T-shirt with the pack of
camels drawing on the back. While respondents did not understand
the pun about "pack" of Camels, they were very attracted to the picture.
5. HISPANIC TARGETED BRAND
YAHS regularly purchase or consume Hispanic targeted products.
However, for the most part, these brands.are-for products that
are inherently Hispanic and not items normally consumed by the
general market. Examples are foods typical to their country (tor-
tillas.arid similar Mexican foods). There appears to be very limited
use of Hispanic brands for general consumer goods. This appears
to be a function of the following:
o imported goods usually carry a price premium
o a desire to purchase well-known, mainstream (branded) products
that are well advertised and popular in this country.
It was interesting to note that many respondents considered
major American brands to be Hispanic (e.g., Coca Cola, Nescafe,
Colgate). This is perhaps a function of those brands being
sold "back home" and advertising/promoting to the Hispanic market
in the U.S.
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YAHS, generally, were favorably inclined toward trying
` a=new Hispanic cigarette brand. However, they mentioned
they would switch brands only if they found the new
cigare'tte to be superior (primarily in terms of taste);to
their current brand. It is important to note that specific
concepts were not presented during the focus groups and
therefore, respondents were not able to react to image
or positionings - elements which are vitally important to
Hispanics. ff _
'6. MAGNA CIGARETTES
There was virtually no awareness of Magna cigarettes.
Perceptions based on the packaging alone were varied -
some thought the product would be very strong because
of the bold colors, the graphics and the brand name.
Others thought the product would be very light and possibly
inferior in quality. A few thought the product would be
good quality, but would not have any advantages over their
When compared to packaging for Bucks (also an unknown
brand with the groups), the majority preferred Magna.
The packaging was preferred primarily because respondents
liked the box style better than the soft pack. Box connotes
higher quality. Additionally, many thought that Magna would
be more modern and appeal to a younger audience than Bucks
because of the graphic design elements used.
7. PACK SORT
As expected based on market share, Marlboro was consistently
ranked as the most popular brand among peers. What was
interesting to note during the pack sort exercise was the
elevation in ranking that Camel has received since the
moderator first conducted groups in Los Angeles 1-11/2
years ago. Camel is now seen by the majority of respondents
as a viable substitute for Marlboro when the latter is-not
available. It is considered to be somewhat similar in taste
(or at least more similar than other brands are to Marlboro).
It is seen as a good quality brand, popular, active within
the Hispanic community, and acceptable with their peers.