Over the years, there has been an increase in e-cigarette products among the youth. Many young people have come across numerous e-cigarette brands because they are Recommended by some. The companies have taken advantage of a lot of platforms and methods in marketing their products. These can vary from different social media engagements to collaborating with several cultural events for the youth. Here are four ways that e-cigarette companies increase their exposure to the youth.
- Offering scholarship
- There are several scholarships offered to students that can write relevant essays about vaping. This scholarship offers range from $250 to $5,000. Students are asked to write about various topics about vaping such as its benefits for adults who are trying to stop smoking. Most of the scholarships available are offered to students who are 18 years old or older. This is the legal age to buy vaping products in the US. Also, it is noteworthy that the students involved do not smoke.
- Creating a social media trend
- E-cigarette companies rely on social media in marketing their products. Their frequent appearances on people’s social media timelines help further establish their campaign. The campaigns are usually carried out through tweets, Instagram or Facebook ad posts, and YouTube ad videos. Most of these campaigns have themes that resonate with the youth but distinct to set their brand apart from the rest. For instance, company JUUL associates its company with cool, relaxing, and fun themes. E-cigarette companies invest a lot of money in promoting their brand and increase their company exposure.
- Sponsored musical festivals
- Another marketing tactic by e-cigarette companies is through musical festivals. Music festivals tend to attract the younger population. E-cigarette companies use these music festivals to promote their brand. Their campaigns would usually include exclusive access to a lounge with guest appearances from top performers. They would also offer convenient and fun services like device charging stations, and photo booths for social media. It also becomes an opportunity for them to provide samples of their products to increase prospective customers. This allows them to distribute their products in a setting that would likely increase their sales. Sponsoring music festivals is a tactic that their competitors like a cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies can’t use. The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prevent these companies to sponsor cultural, music, and sports events for marketing purposes. Some evidence links the youth tobacco use with the cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies sponsoring these events. However, e-cigarette companies are not included in these restrictions.
- Different flavor options
- E-cigarette companies have produced different flavors as a marketing strategy. Many young people have started using e-cigarettes mainly because of the flavor. They offer flavors that appeal to youth and kid-friendly flavors like gummy bears and cotton candy. The packaging was also modified to appeal to youth’s preference like looking similar to usual food items. However, in 2018, joint action from the FDA and Federal Trade Commission were taken against several companies because of this marketing tactic. The companies marketed products that looked like candies and kid-friendly food like Warheads candy.
With the rise of social media and technology, e-cigarette companies have utilized a lot of these platforms to target the youth. E-cigarette companies tend to have more way around with laws enacted against products related to smoking.