INHALING (COUGH*COUGH) AN EXPERIENCE
It's been about a month since a lounge called Marshall McGearty opened up in the trendy Bucktown area of Chicago, and it's still getting press. The reason, primarily, is that this lounge is the brainchild of tobacco powerhouse RJ Reynolds. It is, for all intents and purposes, an experiential campaign for cigarettes -- and this is giving it a lot of attention.
A couple of years ago, officials at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. realized they were missing a big boat.
Other companies that sold indulgences - makers of coffee, wine, beer, chocolates, pastries - had figured out how to induce customers to pay a lot more for high-end products.
But cigarettes were still aimed overwhelmingly at the masses. Where was the cigarette equivalent of a Cinnamon Dolce Latte?
NEW YORK Coty has hired independent agency Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) to handle marketing for the launch of a new fragrance product targeting young men, the shop has confirmed.
The New York client selected the Philadelphia shop after a review in which there were two other finalists: independents DiNoto and Toy, both in New York, said sources. Search consultancy A-Team Advertising Advisors in New York managed the review.
The Best Creative Thinkers Operating Inside and Outside Agency Lines
Steven Grasse, something of an advertising outsider from the very beginning of his career, was born, appropriately enough, in Souderton, Pa., a small Mennonite farming community outside Philadelphia. His formative ad background was off the beaten path; during his college years at Syracuse University, Grasse traveled the world, doing internships at Bozell in Bangkok, Ogilvy+Mather in Hong Kong and TBWA in London before graduating to a copywriter's job at Saatchi+Saatchi in Auckla, New Zealand.
Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) has collaborated with R.J. Reynolds on a premium cigarette brand, Marshall McGearty Tobacco Artisans, built around what aims to be an upscale smoker's paradise in Chicago, the Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge - which, ironically, opened last week at roughly the same time the Windy City's smoking ban went into effect. But the lounge, being primarily a tobacco retail store, is exempt from the ban, at least for the moment, even though it also sells booze, cheese and coffee.
Given that we've undergone a prolonged eviction from nearly every space surrounded by four walls and a ceiling for years, most of us smokers weren't in the least surprised to see the foot that would kick our collective butts out the door approaching last week. Yes, for now it's only those places we don't care quite so much about. Restaurants are something to mourn, but sports stadiums, "common areas" of our apartment buildings, and, well, anything that's not a bar, is - eh, whatever.