Pipe smoking may seem like a leisure activity enjoyed by generations gone by, but social media and the Internet are giving it new life and interest. In the spring of 2016, Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane (STG Lane) set out to capitalize on this often-overlooked segment of the tobacco industry by launching a consumer-driven website named This Pipe Life. A home to all things related to pipe tobacco and smoking, This Pipe Life (thispipelife.com) offers both an education on the history of pipes and an online forum where pipe enthusiasts can interact. According to Lasse R. Petersen, brand manager of pipe tobacco and RYO at STG Lane, This Pipe Life is part of a much bigger movement within the tobacco industry.
“We have this megatrend going on right now, which is an attempt for the consumers to go back to the real product, back to the ‘good old days,’ before heavy machinery took over the world and everything [could] be created to look like everything [else],” said Petersen. “The so-called millennials are at the forefront of this trend, and I think this is part of a larger movement.”
Launching an entire website around pipes geared toward a younger generation of smokers may seem like a risk, but for Petersen and those at Scandinavian Tobacco Group, it’s a no-brainer. What sets This Pipe Life apart from other dedicated pipe-smoker sites and forums is that the information and articles are all written for the people who are new to pipe smoking—which makes the site a perfect resource for tobacco retailers and their employees looking to get up to speed on the category.
“We decided to create a brand new community directed towards the person who does not know a lot about pipe smoking,” explained Petersen. “We built This Pipe Life in a way that you, as a newcomer, can get an understanding of how big the community is, and that it is very much alive and active.”