Winston Comes Out Smoking, Spending

NEW YORK – R.J. Reynolds’ new advertising and promotion blitz will send its fledgling Winston Select line to war with Marlboro next month, while the Winston flagship brand will be positioned to battle share-eroding discount brands.
Three new Winston campaigns – including a dramatic shift on flagship Winston’s marketing budget into point-of-sale promotions – will boost Winston’s ad spending to pre-1992 levels of about $45 million.
Magazine ads challenge Marlboro smokers with an invitation to try Winston Select, a flanker brand introduced last May. The ads feature pictures of both cigarettes and the lines, ‘You select,’ ‘The choice is yours’ and ‘Make the Select move.’
Said R.J. Reynolds spokeswoman Peggy Carter, ‘We found Marlboro smokers had significant interest in Select. We think they’ll find the taste characteristics they want in Select.’
The onslaught doesn’t stop there. A new tagline, ‘That’s worth a Winston,’ is rolling out now in point-of-sale and displays across the country. The new tagline will appear on signage for both Select and Winston brands.
While Winston also gets a massive promotion for its NASCAR race sponsorship, it’s the point-of-sale campaign that’s expected to help the main Winston brand the most.
The strategic shift is designed to help the nation’s No. 2 brand compete against discount brands. Winston controls 6.8% of the $46.5 billion industry. The creative conveys the feeling that smoking, especially smoking a full-price Winston, is a way of enjoying a special moment.
Winston, which has been very susceptible to changes in the marketplace, dropped almost one share point last year – worth about $450,000 at retail. Discount brands have cut into its sales as its older buyers trade down.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)