The iconic packs featuring “W” letter can be seen all over the globe today, as Winston is the second best-selling cigarette brand across the world. But what are the reasons behind such popularity? Is it magnificent tobacco blend? Or advanced technologies? Or affordable price and wise marketing? Well, I believe all these factors together contributed to the amazing success of Winston cigs.
The Tobacco Town
For many decades, Winston, after which the cigarette brand was named, was a small town in North Carolina, located close to Salem city. The progress in its history took place in 1875, when Richard J. Reynolds founded tobacco production plant here. Initially, the plant produced several types of chewing tobacco, which was then very popular among U.S. tobacco users.
In the beginning of 20TH Century, Reynolds Tobacco Company began its triumphant journey to the top of American tobacco market. The first big success for the company was the flagship Camel brand, and while its popularity was growing, RJ Reynolds decided to introduce another cigarette.
It was the time when American tobacco consumers were fed up with harsh tobacco and identical tastes sold under different trademarks, so there was a desperate need for a high quality cigarette with premium taste. And that’s where Winston came and took the market by storm.
From Europe with filters
Winston’s legend says that brand was developed thanks to the brilliant idea of Edward Darr, one of the RJ Reynolds directors. He was on vacation in Europe and saw filtered cigarettes, newest tobacco product in vogue on the continent. Darr liked the idea of filters and showed them to RJR manufacture experts upon coming back home. The product would have definitely find its audience among U.S smokers, but it was important to retain the invigorating taste and deliver it through the filters.
After several month of hard work, RJR experts created a tobacco blend, which later was named American Blend and become the golden standard across the industry. The major feature of the blend was the usage of Burley sort of tobacco, cured by means of innovative thermal processing technology, which in the end gave cigarettes a caramel aftertaste and smooth flavor.
Thus, American smokers got a new cigarette product, which was doomed to success, as Winston cigarettes hit the stores’ shelves in 1954.
Cost of a grammatical error
The iconic “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” – was the first, and probably, the most popular, advertising slogan of Winston brand. This slogan should have meant that Winston tastes like a good cigarette, yet there was an evident grammatical error, which was much debated and criticized.
Today, it’s tough to say whether it was an accidental mistake, or a deliberate, well-thought strategy, but it paid off, as smokers turned their attention to the brand. And when, after a while, another slogan, saying “What do you want, good grammar or good taste?” was introduced, the popularity of Winston cigarettes soared.
Thus, it took only two years for Winston to become the best-selling cigarette brand across the United States, with annual sales topping 30 billion cigarettes.
However, its manufacturer had no intention to stop on what the brand achieved. The company launched new advertising campaigns and uber-successful extensions of brand line, like Winston 100s, which all contributed to the growth of the brand’s popularity across the world.
Advertising images based on the need in family happiness and comfort, and new products, such as contributed to the sales growth.
Currently Winston brand enjoys the position of the second best-selling cigarette brand in the world. Whereas it is still manufactured by RJ Reynolds, the international rights were sold to Japan Tobacco International, which currently markets the brand across the globe.
In addition, JTI is constantly developing new styles of its flagship brand, by launching Winston Super Slims, Winston XS and Winston Premier in order to be present in all categories of the global tobacco market.
But what was true about Winston cigarettes in 1954, is true at present, they still taste good!