Philip Morris's Reverse Marketing Brilliance

July 7, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

We all know Philip Morris (makers of Marlboro) tricked the USA people into smoking which was genius. Then one day Americans woke up; shit we are going to die from smoking these cigarettes and smoking was on the decline. The old timers in Virginia started running around figuring how to capture all those people back into smoking.

My theory is a new type of marketing called reverse marketing. What they created was The Parent Resource Center. At first it seems like a great idea for them to put tons of material to teach kids about not smoking, advertise all over for parents to go check it out and appear to be finally helping society. That’s almost like saying that Las Vegas was built for people to win. Hint: Who’s money do you think paid for all the big hotels? Definitely not from the winners.

“What do you do when your parents tell you not to do something?”

YOU REBEL!!! You do everything against what they say when you are younger. Philip Morris’s stroke of genius is getting tons of parents to promote anti-smoking to their children and in turn really create hords of new kids who will go try it out. A more affective way of reducing smoking is to support The Truth campaign. And even greater idea is to stop selling cigarettes…

technorati tag: reverse marketing, philip morris, the truth

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7 responses to “Philip Morris's Reverse Marketing Brilliance

  1. She Reply

    I always found those ads slightly suspicious and assumed it was something that came out as a result of a lawsuit or an attempt to avoid another one for big tobacco.

    Do you think it is working?What is the stats?

  2. Court Reply

    It’s a good theory you have going here about reverse marketing, but something tells me that’s not what Philip Morris has in mind. I think if kids are going to rebel, they’re going to do it anyway. Since when has good parenting been a BARRIER to raising a kid right?

    I think when parents talk to their kids about ANY issue the right way, it’s going to help the kid make better choices. Even if it is just a subtle, perhaps even subconcious influence.

    Out of curiousity, do you know which came first, the Truth campaign, or the Parent Resource Center?

  3. Nedra Weinreich Reply

    The brilliance of the truth campaign is that it takes the values that adolescents live by — rebellion against authority, independence, self-expression, the need to belong — and made the truth “brand” fill the same need that the cigarette brands had been filling. They turned the rebellion against the tobacco industry and gave teens a way to participate in the anti-tobacco movement.

    The truth campaign came about as a result of Florida’s settlement with the tobacco industry in 1997. I’m not sure about when the Parent Resource Center came about, but I just checked out their website and saw that I know two people on their advisory board who are definitely not shills for the tobacco industry. So while I agree that PRC’s approach may not be the most effective, I don’t think this is a deliberate attempt to undermine their own campaign.

  4. Noah Kagan Reply

    I don’t think the tobacco company deliberately planned to do reverse marketing. I just think its a consequence at their pathetic attempt to reduce smoking. Nedra, amazing points for really highlighting what gets kids attention and helps them take action.

  5. Paul Robinson Reply

    One of my favorite anti-smoking “advertisements” is the Shards O’ Glass Popsicle ad site, which they should give more promotion to.

    Basically it’s a website for a (fake) company that makes Popsicles with embedded broken glass. Why would anyone want to eat Popsicles that have broken glass in them? Good question; knowing that Cigarettes will kill you, why would you continue to smoke? (Probably because they’re addictive).

    Anyway, the Shards O’ Glass website is very funny.