Cigarette Descriptor

descriptors

Denotative Meanings

The cigarette descriptor indicates the size or type of the cigarettes contained within. Sometimes the length of the cigarette (e.g. King size) is used as the key descriptor, and in other cases the cigarette’s diameter (e.g. Slim) is used. Other descriptors include ‘premium cigarettes’ or ‘filter cigarettes.’

The cigarette descriptor is very often a function of the cigarette size.

Connotations

Overarching Theme Sub-Theme Connotative Chains
Lifestyle  Luxury / Glamour  ‘Premium’ –> High quality –> Luxury
Lifestyle  Gender  Size descriptors can communicate gender:

  • ‘King’ –> Powerful male figurehead –> Masculinity‘King size’ –> Large (a culturally desirable masculine trait) –> Masculinity

    Podium

  • ‘Slims’ and ‘Superslims’ –> Slenderness (a culturally desirable feminine trait) –> Femininity“

    The concept of slim cigarettes has its appeal in association with sophistication & femininity, as well as a sense of being fashionable.” 1

    Slim cigarettes are the “standard circumference within female based brands.” 2Associating slenderness with cigarettes is by no means a new practice.

    Marketing cigarettes as a way to lose or maintain weight has been in practice since 1925. 3

    Lilas embossing1

 

Notes:

  1. Project Polaris Product Brief. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. San Francisco, CA: University of California. Available at: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wnm76b00. Accessed July 22, 2011.
  2. Recommended packing styles for female based private label brand report by Lorillard. Tobacco Documents Library. San Francisco, CA: University of California. Available at: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/bdo54a00. Accessed July 22, 2011.

  3. Amos A, Hagland M. From social taboo to “torch of freedom”: the marketing of cigarettes to women. Tobacco Control 2000;9:3-8.