CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Nicorette’s submarine theme. Jade Garrett is told how a study of Swedish seamen inspired BMP’s debut work

Mat Hakansson, branding director for Nicorette’s range of products designed to help smokers kick the habit, knows all about temptation - and not just that found in a packet of 20.

Mat Hakansson, branding director for Nicorette’s range of products

designed to help smokers kick the habit, knows all about temptation -

and not just that found in a packet of 20.



He spent part of his national service in the Swedish navy. ’Let’s just

say I’ve seen the sort of pictures men hang on their walls and I know

the sort of urges they experience while they are away from home for long

periods,’ he says.



So Hakansson can empathise with BMP’s first work on the brand, a TV

commercial highlighting the frustrations of submariners prevented from

smoking while at sea - and the suggestion of a little light relief.



’The ad is based on fact,’ he says. ’The concept was born back in 1967

when two doctors began studying the Swedish navy. Their findings proved

that sailors who were smokers were increasingly irritable at sea.’



They took the findings to Nicorette - now owned by Pharmacia & Upjohn -

which developed a safe way of delivering nicotine in the form of chewing

gum and then arm patches.



The spot opens on a submarine cruising underwater in the Baltic in 1967

and its crew who are obviously suffering the effects of nicotine

withdrawal.



Only one sailor is lying relaxed and happy in his bunk thanks to his

Nicotine gum.



The ad is the result of extensive market research throughout Europe.



Hakansson’s schedule included visiting five capitals in 12 days where he

was surprised to find ’a consistently strong positioning’ for the

brand.



Hakansson was able to provide a lot of personal insight, having finally

kicked the habit himself. ’I stopped smoking about ten years ago but I

was still chewing tobacco until a month ago,’ he says.



’We know that we have something very unique and staff that work on the

account know that they have the power to make a real difference to the

lives of smokers, which makes for tremendous job satisfaction. We face a

situation where smokers enjoy smoking but about 75 per cent of them want

to stop.’



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