March 26, 2019

JUUL's Millennial Marlboro Man

“SAY YOU WERE a villainized e-cigarette startup, with a $13 billion cash investment from the tobacco giant that owns Marlboro, and were blamed for kicking off a vaping epidemic among teens. You’d lay low, right? Maybe play nice with the FDA. Log off Instagram. Throw a few coins at a youth prevention campaign. Juul, however, is opting for a more aggressive route.

On Tuesday Juul confirmed that it plans a national TV ad campaign featuring ex-smokers who used Juul to help them quit traditional cigarettes. CNBC, which first reported the plan, said Juul plans an initial $10 million campaign, airing on national cable channels after 10pm local time and aimed at adults 35 and older.

TV ads for tobacco products have been banned under federal and state regulations since the 1970s, and print ads are restricted. Advertising standards have not been formalized for e-cigarettes, which are regulated differently by the Food and Drug Administration. E-cigarette companies have advertised on TV before, notably Blu and NJOY, which ran a Super Bowl ad in 2012. But in the intervening years, Juul has far eclipsed both brands, with 70 percent of the retail market, according to data from Nielsen.

TV is a new medium for Juul, which has grown through social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, although the company claims most of the marketing is organic and unpaid. As criticism grew, the company changed the look and feel of its online accounts to focus exclusively on adult smokers switching to Juul.”

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