Influence of premium versus value brand names on the smoking experience in a plain packaging environment: an experimental study
AuthorSkaczkowski, G; Durkin, S; Kashima, Y; Wakefield, M
Source TitleBMJ Open
PublisherBMJ PUBLISHING GROUP
University of Melbourne Author/sKashima, Yoshihisa; Durkin, Sarah; Wakefield, Melanie; Skaczkowski, Gemma
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSkaczkowski, G., Durkin, S., Kashima, Y. & Wakefield, M. (2017). Influence of premium versus value brand names on the smoking experience in a plain packaging environment: an experimental study. BMJ OPEN, 7 (1), https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014099.
Access StatusOpen Access
OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of branding, as indicated by brand name, on evaluation of the cigarette smoking experience. DESIGN: Between-subjects and within-subjects experimental study. Participants were randomly allocated to smoke a cigarette from a pack featuring a premium brand name and a cigarette from a pack featuring a value brand name. Within each condition, participants unknowingly smoked two identical cigarettes (either two premium or two value cigarettes). SETTING: Australia, October 2014, 2 years after tobacco plain packaging implementation. PARTICIPANTS: 81 current cigarette smokers aged 19-39 years. From apparently premium and value brand-name packs, 40 smokers were allocated to smoke the same actual premium cigarettes and 41 were allocated to smoke the same actual value cigarettes. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Experienced taste (flavour, satisfaction, enjoyment, quality, liking, mouthfeel and aftertaste), harshness, dryness, staleness, harm/strength measures (strength, tar, lightness, volume of smoke), draw effort and purchase intent. RESULTS: Cigarettes given a premium brand name were rated as having a better taste, were less harsh and less dry than identical cigarettes given a value brand name. This pattern was observed irrespective of whether the two packs actually contained premium or value cigarettes. These effects were specific: the brand name did not influence ratings of cigarette variant attributes (strength, tar, volume of smoke, lightness and draw effort). CONCLUSIONS: Despite the belief that brand names represent genuine differences between cigarette products, the results suggest that at least some of this perceived sensory difference is attributable to brand image.
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