PG WEB EXTRA: Short Puffs

Market Forecast

Big Tobacco and others are investing heavily in media spending to promote e-cigarettes, a practice not allowed for cigarettes since 1971, when TV cigarette advertising was banned.

Legislators have drawn attention to such campaigns, saying they use the same old tactics to entice consumers — particularly youths — to try products.

“Blu eCigs’ products are marketed toward a distinct audience demographic – the adult smoker,” notes Jim Raporte, president of Charlotte, N.C.-based Blu eCigs. “Blu eCigs has chosen to set an example with our own responsible marketing efforts. This means limitations have been set on when and where Blu eCigs can be marketed across print, TV, online and outdoor channels,”

How all of this will play out for retailers isn’t yet known. Most believe there will be strict compliance on age restrictions, keeping product behind the counter with cigarettes.

However, according to David Bishop, managing partner at Barrington, Ill.-based Balvor LLC, visibility of product in stores is essential: “The main challenge is promoting that you’re in this business so that your store is part of the consumer’s consideration set.”

Vapor Rebrands Krave Line, Launches Revamped Site

E-cigarette company Vapor Corp., whose brands include Krave, Fifty-One, VaporX, Hookah Stix, Alternacig, EZ Smoker, Green Puffer, Americig, Fumare and Smoke Star, has revamped the Krave brand and rolled out what it calls a “redesigned, redefined and re-energized" Krave website.

The rebranding and new site "support our efforts to expand our brand presence and deliver rich online content," explains Kevin Frija, CEO of Dania Beach, Fla.-based Vapor. "Based upon valuable feedback from our customers and retail partners, we expect our new line of Krave products will be a huge hit” in 2014.

Adds Frija: "In anticipation of launching our rebranded product in 2014 through brick-and-mortar retailers, the new [site] will give our loyal customers and followers a sneak peak at what's to come. The new website will also provide our brick-and-mortar retail partners across the country an opportunity to join our new retail affiliate network program, which in turn will allow them to receive credits and rebates for customers who shop on our site using their affiliate code.”

The rebranding includes a fresh logo and redesigned product packaging, while the new and improved website boasts enhanced navigation and functionality, giving customers access to the most up-to-date, detailed information on the product line. Further, employing state-of-the-art technology that’s compatible with popular browsers and mobile devices, site enables visitors to share information and comments on their favorite e-cigarette products across such social media platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

In addition to offering a variety of e-cigarette brands, publicly traded Vapor designs and develops private label brands for some of its distribution customers.

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