Vinnie Jones has become the first celebrity in the UK to front a primetime TV ad for electronic cigarettes.
The Hollywood star, known for his “tough man” roles in movies such as Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is going to promote Kik e-cigarettes on the small screen. Jones is a former smoker who successfully managed to give up the habit, which may have been one of the reasons he was selected for the commercial. Part of the company’s market plan is to reach out to tobacco smokers urging them to make the change to ecigs.
In the ad, Jones is not seen to be vaping, but he lends his typical straight-to-the-point talking style to promote the qualities of the brand. He explains that KiK E-cigarettes come in 80 flavours with 5 strengths to choose from, telling smokers to switch sides in favour of ecigs. It seems he is not about to go mellow anytime soon because there is not a smile on sight. With a strong tone and a tough stare, the ad ends with Jones telling viewers to “do as the lady says.” The former premier league footballer is said to be a fan of electronic cigarettes in real life.
Sandy Chadha, the KiK CEO, explains that the actor’s celebrity status and his popularity in the UK made him the obvious choice for fronting the ad. “Vinnie Jones was the natural pick for us given that he is a Hollywood A-lister and whom the target audience can identify with,” she said.
On a light note, one wonders whether Jones is the ideal option for promoting a product that is the ‘healthier option’, given the fact that most of the characters he plays on the big screen do the exact opposite: damaging people’s health, by shooting them with glee, setting fire to them or banging their heads against car doors. If he were to become a vicar, his fiery summons while banging the pulpit would scare even the staunchest of atheists into converting.
E-cigarettes marketing around the world has been a tricky subject with numerous e-cig guides like this one being present on the Internet and some people arguing that they get people into smoking. E-cigarette manufacturers dispute this, claiming that they are only making people aware of their existence, especially the smokers. Advertising of the products had previously been banned, but this changed after the Committees on Advertising Practice (CAP) formulated new rules to govern their marketing. E-cigarette advertisers can now showcase their products on TV, but the ads must not feature under-25s, and they must not be seen to be appealing to teenagers. The advertisers should also not be seen as if they are wooing non-smokers and non-nicotine users.