The story of the world-famous West cigarette brand got underway in 1980 in Germany, when specialists of Reemtsma CigaretteFabricken, then leading German cigarette manufacturer created a new tobacco blend, which received an intriguing name – Miami.
Choosing from various names, the company decided to name its new brand ‘West’ reflecting an American type of tobacco blend and modern appeal of these cigarettes. According to its creators the short word West vividly expressed the idea of independence, and openness to the new, extraordinary and even extreme things.
Namely this idea was used as the main concept of the first advertising campaign for West brand. “Let’s go West” – called young and gorgeous people from TV ads and street billboards, inviting smokers to travel with them in their big trucks, and smoking West cigarettes.
And German smokers appreciated the taste and the look of brand so much, that it has skyrocketed to become one of the best-selling brands on German tobacco market. Thus, West cigarette brand started its journey to the summit of the worldwide fame.
By 1987 the modern image of the brand was formed and the brand’s target audience was determined. West cigarettes smoker is young, he enjoys life and lives it to the fullest. Namely this information was brought to the public by “Test the West” advertising campaign. In the ads, cool guys offered ‘freaks’ to try West, and numerous people, representing various nations, professions, social and sexual groups gladly tried these cigarettes.
In 1993 West became an international cigarette brand, with sales commencing in more than 15 countries across Europe. However, the image of the brand was not changed; it still remains a product for those who aspire to overcome existing stereotypes.
For example, in 1996 West and Russian Space Agency have made nearly impossible, by organizing a competition, with a trip to the Russian Star City (Zvyozdnyi Gorodok – a place where astronauts train near Moscow). The winners were training together with astronauts during three weeks.
Always in motion
In 1997 West became the titular partner of Formula 1 McLaren-Mercedes Team, giving birth to a new star team in the sport – West-McLaren-Mercedes. Since then, West and Formula 1 became the synonyms for extraordinary ideas – from pilot trainings in zero gravity conditions to appearance of Formula 1 bolides on the streets.
Reemtsma in cooperation with West-McLaren-Mercedes team organized various events featuring Formula 1 across the world. Thus, in 1998 the company launched a project named West Adrenaline Show, during which celebrities and other famous people were offered a chance to drive a two-seat Formula 1 car as a passenger.
In 2002 West brand became a property of Imperial Tobacco, after its maker, Reemtsma was acquired by the world’s fourth-largest cigarette maker. Today, West is one of the four key global brands for Imperial, posting constant growth in sales and popularity.