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Topic: Consumer Buying Behavior – Marketing to teenagers
Article Summary: This article states that although only two percent of teenagers are smokers; fifty percent of tobacco companies marketing monies go to targeting teenagers. The author feels that the big tobacco companies target teenagers to help make up for those who ultimately die from tobacco related illnesses or realize on later in life that they need to stop smoking. It goes on to say that for every one person who dies from tobacco-related causes, two new smokers under the age of twenty-six start the habit.
Although the Joe Camel cartoon advertising has since been removed, when that particular character was created the sales of Camel increased thirty-four percent in kids showing that campaign had an impact on who they were targeting and who began to purchase their product. The author goes on to say how impressionable teenagers and children are, as opposed to adults, and how stopping the tobacco use is not easy to do.
Once someone starts it is a hard habit to break. Many of those who start smoking at an early age become addicted to the product before they are even of legal age to purchase the product. Even the warnings on the boxes are not enough to keep the young consumers from purchasing the product.
Class Application: Cigarette companies need to market to the proper consumer market. A consumer market is purchasers and household members who intend to consume or benefit from the purchased product. By Camel advertising in magazines, using “fun” cartoon characters, and also making tobacco use look cool, they are not targeting the proper market.
Being sure to market cigarettes to those who are legally allowed to use the product is a must. They can still use a differentiated targeting strategy and market to those in different demographics, but they need to be sure to leave out those who are not legal to use the product. Cigarette companies should be using demographic segmentation variables to come up with ad campaigns geared towards the proper segments. With cigarettes, the companies have to focus on age since there is a legal age for smoking. Also, since cigarettes have been proven to be unhealthy and cause of cancer, among other things, they are not something that should be advertised to children or teenagers; no matter what.
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