Collection: Celebrities and Stars
The relationship between celebrities and tobacco products has been longstanding. From the 1920s, tobacco companies have been using celebrities to endorse their tobacco products (e.g., 1928 Lucky Strike advertisement featuring actor Ann Andrews). In recent years, the cigar industry relying increasingly on celebrity endorsements and targeted marketing particularly in the movie and music industry. Prominent figures in the movie and music business whom have endorsed cigars include singer Justin Bieber, rapper Jay-Z, and actors Hugh Jackman, Robert De Niro, and Matthew McConaughey.
Celebrity music artist Calvin Broadus Jr., also known as “Snoop Dog”, launched his tobacco cigar and cigarillo brand Executive Branch in 2012, promoting it everywhere from major press sources, to music magazines, social media (e.g. Instagram), and popular music festivals like the 2012 Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Use of celebrities such as Snoop Dog has special attraction among youth, who are the most susceptible to being swayed by such endorsements. Snoop’s use of social media tools to promote the cigar has global reach. Snoop Dog has over “23 million likes on Facebook, 10+ million Twitter followers, and over 350,000 YouTube subscribers” – all of whom have probably viewed his multiple videos promoting cigars as “The Gentleman’s Choice.”
In 1964, cigarette companies were banned from using testimonials from athletes, movie personalities, and other famous personalities who might be appealing to youth consumers. It is time that these rules applied to cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos.
1. Sterling, K., Moore, R., Pitts, N., & Duong, M. (2013). Exposure to Celebrity-Endorsed Small Cigar Promotions and Susceptibility to Use among Young Adult Cigarette Smokers. Journal and Environmental and Public Health . Retrieved May 30, 2017, from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2013/520286/.
2. Richardson, A., Ganz, O., & Valonne, D. (2013). The cigar ambassador: how Snoop Dogg uses Instagram to promote tobacco use.Tobacco Control. Retrieved May 30, 2017, from http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/tobaccocontrol/early/2013/06/07/tobaccocontrol-2013-051037.full.pdf