Cigar-toting, affluent new lads are being persuaded to swap their
Hamlets and Cafe Cremes for hand-rolled smokes costing pounds 6
The work is the first to be produced for the cigar importer, Hunters &
Frankau, by Mercieca Communications since the agency was assigned the
creative work in a three-way pitch in January. Media buying is being
handled by All Media Services.
The campaign takes the form of a series of politically incorrect ads
running from this month in men’s style magazines including Esquire, GQ,
Maxim and Loaded. It promotes the importer’s Santa Damiana range of
cigars which have a light appeal compared with more expensive
The ads aim to reverse an ageing market and recruit younger smokers by
capitalising on cigar smoking’s new cool image - as personified by stars
such as Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Clive Norris, the agency’s creative director, wrote and art directed the
ads which rely heavily on sexual innuendo. One carries the words, ’smoke
signal’, and features a stunning girl carrying a tray of cigars being
summoned by a customer. The copy reads: ’Hands up who wants one.’
Paul Mercieca, the agency’s managing director, claimed the ads did not
set out to deliberately thumb their noses at political correctness.
’They are not to be taken seriously,’ he said. ’We feel that people
reading the magazines will not see them that way.’