What does the future hold for the vapor industry as a whole? Tobacco Business recently spoke with Jacopo D’Alessandris, CEO of E-Alternative Solutions (EAS) about his outlook for vapor and his company. Excerpts from that interview follow.
In marketing Cue, why did you choose to go the infomercial route? Why not a more conventional television campaign?
We are currently using an infomercial and not classic ads because we wanted to make education easy for consumers who are still looking for an alternative to combustible cigarettes. An infomercial is a great tool for that. Vapor stores have done well with educating smokers about vaping as an alternative, but we know that many consumers are intimidated by the look and the style of some of the vapor stores.
In an infomercial, because it is long-form media, you can really go into detail about explaining how to use this technology, why it is simple, and what the difference is between this and any other technology they may have tried, such as e-cigarettes. It is more than an ad; it is more like a television show with a host who brings relatable people on who talk about their experiences and also visually demonstrate the product’s features.
For example, one demonstration shows two glass boxes. In one we pull vapor from an e-cigarette, and in the other we pull vapor from a Cue system so that you can see how much more vapor Cue is delivering. This is a visual presentation of how a device like Cue can deliver much more thick, warm vapor than an e-cigarette. So the infomercial strikes a balance between emotional connections and presenting rational, hard facts about the product.
How does your campaign fit in with restrictions about making health claims about the benefits of vapor products?
FDA has not issued guidance with respect to vapor products specifically directly related to the use of television ads or any other media for that matter. That said, we voluntarily self-regulate our marketing practices very strictly. We do not make any cessation claims in our messages. Nor do we make any claims that vapor products are healthier than smoking. In fact, the only comparison we make to cigarettes relates to the fact that vapor products don’t smell or stain your clothes. We are also very careful about when we broadcast and on what channel. The channel has to guarantee that at least 85 percent of their intended audience is made up of adults, and we primarily air it at night when kids are in bed.
Who is your core target audience for Cue?
The core audience is smokers looking for an alternative. There are a lot of them out there who have been dissatisfied by e-cigarettes or who are intimidated by vaping devices and vapor stores. This comprises the biggest population still out there that we want to reach. A secondary audience is the vaper himself or herself who is looking for a more convenient way of vaping.