It seems “fake news” style ads being employed by e-cigarette companies can be fairly effective among young people.
Currently the FDA requires large warnings about the addictive chemical nicotine present in e-cigarette products. Before that law went into effect, e-cigarette company Blu took advantage of the idea and the space on its packaging by including a fake warning; the warning mimics almost exactly similar warnings on cigarette packing and the warnings now in effect on e-cigarette products.
The messages featured the large print, all capital word IMPORTANT. Following this were slogans such as “contains flavor” or “less harmful to your wallet” followed. Below the “fake” warnings were actual warnings about the product contents.
A new study by Ohio State University faculty, published in the journal “Tobacco Control”, found that these fake warning messages stuck with teenage boys who viewed them.
In the study which used the fake warnings from Blu’s Something Better marketing campaign, twenty-seven percent said the fake warning was what they remembered most from the packaging. As stunning nineteen percent could even repeat the fake warning slogans with accuracy.
These same teens had much lower odds of being able to recall the true warnings about the product contents and health risks compared to boys who looked at other e-cigarette package based marketing. All packaging and advertising viewed used the smaller, real warning at the bottom of the ad or packaging.