The public is generally unaware of a new
marketing strategy used by the tobacco industry. Tobacco
companies conduct these operations surreptitiously. Representatives of the tobacco
industry hire trend-conscious individuals to infiltrate concerts, restaurants and bars,
and other cultural events.
these moles to be hip, fit in with the crowd and look like one of the guys -- or gals. They give away
tobacco products and samples, promotional items and other high-quality gifts.
This tactic is referred
to as Trend Influence Marketing or TIM. The public is relatively unaware of this promotional
strategy. TIM abandons standard advertising campaigns and moves directly into the arena of
trying to set trends.
R.J. Reynolds utilizes TIM to increase the popularity of Camel cigarettes. We believe Philip Morris conducts a
similar campaign for their Marlboro product.
We found this example of TIM personnel recruitment in Albuquerque's Weekly Alibi. KBA Lifestyle Marketing
works closely with tobacco companies (see image at right).
Tobacco companies believe that shoving products in the face of the consumer is no longer a
successful way to infiltrate the market. They believe young consumers are most influenced by
what they see in the hands of friends, not by some stiff riding a horse in a magazine
For this program to be executed properly, the marketing company must remain almost invisible. They
work to ensure that none of their actions appear sales-oriented. They strive to ensure everything
they do will be perceived as cool. Their ultimate objective is to have "hipsters" feel as though
smoking is their idea, and that they started the trend.