It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have a serious television commercial for e-cigarettes. It’s for Blu Cigs and in the short time it’s been running it has caused a lot of discussions both in main stream media and vaping circles.
I’ve often wondered when electronic cigarettes would be big enough to reach television. Well, that day has finally arrived as the first commercial for Blu finally hit the big screens. It’s true, you’ll find other clips labeled as e-cigarette TV commercials (I’ve personally found one for the Safe Cig) but I had yet to see one on television. The fact is, until not too long ago electronic cigarette companies couldn’t afford to launch ads for their products on national television. Most of them still can’t afford it, but considering Blu Cigs was acquired by Lorrilard this Spring, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how they found the funds for a televised marketing campaign. Anyway, their new ad has been spotted late last month and it’s been running pretty aggressively ever since, but while that may sound like wonderful news for the electronic cigarette industry not everyone’s happy about it.
The 30-seconds-long commercial shows a successful-looking young man using a Blu electronic cigarette in his car, at work, at his favorite restaurant and at a friend’s house. He manages to make a few informative remarks like that e-cigs produce no ash and smoke, that you can control nicotine intake by choosing different e-liquid strengths and that they cost significantly less than tobacco cigarettes. Unfortunately, they probably couldn’t mention the health benefits without facing some serious consequences, so they just settled for saying Blu Cigs are the “smarter alternative to smoking”. But the Lorrilard-owned brand also managed to strike some chords with their new TV commercial, by using the term “smoking”instead of “vaping”, although they clearly state their product, like all electronic cigarettes, produces vapor, not smoke. Also, they made it seem as people are free to use e-cigarettes anywhere these days, when in reality, more and more states are ruling to include e-cigs in the smoking ban, meaning they can’t be used in public places like restaurants or at work.
Like we mentioned in our Blu e-cigarette review, the company targets young sophisticated people who want to quit smoking and look good doing it. Their recent commercial follows Blu’s same strategy, using a handsome, elegant male protagonist who chooses a smarter alternative to smoking. It might convince a few people to try e-cigarettes, but is this commercial really good for the vaping community? Well, there’s a debate going on at the moment and each side has its own arguments. There are those who say Blu’s products are some of the worst on the market and people switching to vapor with them are in for a negative first impression that might hurt their chances of actually quitting cigarettes, while others simply don’t like their using the term “smoking”, because it makes using electronic cigarettes seem like just another form of smoking.
On the other hand, there are those who believe any kind of e-cigarette publicity is good publicity, and that using the term “smoking” in the ad is totally justified, since Blu’s business model is to market its product to people who just want an alternative to smoking and are oblivious of terms like “vaping”. If they were to target experienced vapers who know all the available products on the market, they would probably fail in their goal. They believe that as long as they get a person to put down cigarettes and try a safer alternative, it has a positive impact.
Personally, I think the commercial could be a bit more informative and I find it a bit cheesy, but it’s better than no e-cigarette commercial at all. What are your thoughts on the matter?