Surveillance Update - February 2016

Trinkets & Trash is a surveillance project and archive at the Rutgers School of Public Health that monitors tobacco industry marketing in magazines, direct mail, e‐mail, websites, and other channels.  For more images and examples, visit us at

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Tobacco Updates 

Brands aim for the young adult crowd. Entertainment, smooth design and attractive users appealed to Millennials this month. Black and Mild invited users to a “Feast for the Senses” sweepstakes in New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras — and possibly in light of the city’s recent smoke-free law. Marlboro also included New Orleans in its “Nights Out” video series, along with a clip on New York’s speakeasy scene to appeal to young hipsters. Marlboro wants you to work for your coupon — an email tells you to look inside a one-minute video of a glamorous city night. Blu also began a video advertising campaign on its website for the new Blu Plus+. Young e-cig user Katrina tells us why the Plus+ works for her, while Blu asks us to submit our own Plus+ story with the #plusworks hashtag. In a magazine ad, Blu showed handsome “Brad” hitting the Plus+ and saying “blu Plus+ gives me everything I was used to and more.” Camel sent out an email announcing the new The site combines all of Camel’s cigarette and smokeless products  into a colorful slideshow.
Timely ads.  As the temperature dropped, winter advertisements rose in popularity. Blu told us to “cherry crush and chill” this Valentine’s Day,  referring to the popular “Netflix and chill” saying, with a picture of couple vaping together. General Snus also told us to “embrace the moment” on Valentine’s Day. On its website, Skoal posted a picture of a snowboarder and asked users what they would do with a snow day. As part of its “Tellin’ It Like It Is” topics, Grizzly asked “Snowboards Vs. Snowmobiles?” It also appeared to aim for the indoors crowd with a series of slogans for its Wintergreen products, like “perfect for the great indoors” and “The grizzly goes where it wants.” These emphasized how its smokeless tobacco products, unlike cigarettes, could be used anywhere. Blu followed along the same lines with an email depicting a smoker sitting out in the cold, telling us “don’t be this guy.” NJOY continued to use pretty much any excuse for a flash sale, promoting discounts for Mondays, Fridays and Martin Luther King day.
Inviting engagement at every level. Tobacco companies tried to lure us to their websites with promises of prizes and engagements. Grizzly announced the winner of its Land Grab contest — a hunter looking for timberland in Pennsylvania — and began a “Pack a better pouch, pick a better prize” sweepstakes. It lists “obvious” choices of the best of different products offered as prizes, adding, “when you pack a Grizzly pouch, you pick America’s best for all the obvious reasons.” A Copenhagen ad brought us to the website to read about its new mint flavor, coming next month. Marlboro’s email, with a backdrop of running horses, asked us to visit its website to redeem a gold status offer. Both Juul and L&M advertised recipes on their brand websites. L&M gave tips for entertaining friends with party dishes, while Juul promoted its new e-cigarette with a “flavor pairing” of Persian cucumber salad and its limited time flavor, coco  miint.

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