June 20, 2012
I’ve written before about how my great aunt, Sarah Augusta Dickson, was the first curator of the Arents Tobacco Collection from the mid-1940s through the 1960s. Her tenure coincided with the rise and regulation of the tobacco industry.
As a small package design firm, big tobacco clients are surely out of our reach, but I have wondered at times what sort of work we might have done for such a client if Beach Packaging Design had existed in my great aunt’s day…
Then early this year with Puf Cigs it sort of happened. Not big tobacco, but electronic cigarettes. Our designs for their flip top and flavor cartridge boxes appear above and below. Can’t take credit for the logo, though. That was done by StayVers.
In Mad Men, much was made of Don Draper’s idea for a new Lucky Strike sales pitch: “It’s toasted!” A simple, declarative statement of fact, but a subtle deception because, according to his clients, everybody else’s tobacco was also toasted.
In reality, everybody else’s tobacco was not toasted. Actually introduced in 1917 (well before Don Draper’s fictional career) “it’s toasted” was meant to differentiate Lucky Strike’s tobacco from its sun-dried competitors.
Still, it makes for a good advertising parable: there were six identical products, differentiated only by their advertising and packaging design.
So I asked myself, “If I were Don Draper, what sort of tagline would I come up with for Puf Cigs?” Something analogous to the toasted tobacco idea…
A simple, declarative statement of fact: It’s electro.
It’s not tobacco. It’s electro.
(Bonus pop culture reference to Sean of the Dead: “It’s not hip hop. It’s electro.”)