The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Tobacco Industry’s Newest Target: Hipsters

In a recent Media Network Web-cast with the Office of Smoking Health, Stacey Anderson and her colleagues presented on their research: Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.

As an urban resident myself, hipsters are a trademark of my area. Ever impressed with their sense of style, I’ll see hipsters hanging out on their stoops or in front of dive bars/cultural venues with their bicycles, tight pants, plaid and retro/alternative clothing. However, just as ubiquitous as the edgy haircuts and tattoe are the cigarettes in their hands. Which is not far from the truth as 56% of hipsters smoke.

So why are these numbers so high? According to the presentation/article, hipsters seek outlets for freedom and self-expression. They admire the kitsch, absurd, eccentric, and Camel has positioned itself to deliver what hipsters are attracted to.

Why has Camel targeted hipsters? For one, since mainstream advertising options have been restricted, tobacco industries have become acquainted with targeting underground, “alternative lifestyles” (ex. the LGBT community).

What makes hipsters easier targets is their often nihilistic outlook on life that influences them to disregard traditional health warnings against smoking.

The tobacco industry is also aware that “underground” culture influences the market, and while hipsters typically intend to be anti-establishment, they often set mainstream trends.

To overcome the fact that hipsters reject mainstream messages, tobacco marketers admittedly aim to get hipsters to think that they started the trend of smoking.

Just as the tobacco industry has targeted sub-cultural groups by essentially manipulating and inverting their own values against themselves, we need to be less straightforward with our intervention strategy. For instance, perhaps we should expose the manipulation of the tobacco industry’s attempt to infuse a corporate, mainstream product into their culture. Another idea that the presenter brought up would be to use advertising campaigns that hipsters may find attractive, like internet based relatable and The latter of which also hosts smokefree alternative concerts.

For more information on this, an abstract and summary of the article is available at the following link. ‘Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.,  (Tobacco Control, June 2010), Yogi Hendlin, Ph.D. candidate, UC Los Angeles and Stacey Anderson, Ph.D., UC San Francisco.

Blog post by Emilia Dunham

Network Program Associate



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August 27, 2010 Posted by | social media, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Youth BrownBag Webinar: Back to School Edition

Youth BrownBag Networking Webinar: Back to School Edition

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Please join us and the National Youth Advocacy Coalition for a conversation with service providers for LGBTQ youth. What are your strengths and your challenges? What kind of support do you need in this work? Want to strategize on how to build the strengths of your LGBTQ youth programming? For answers and to share opinions on these questions and much more, spend an hour with NYAC and your colleagues for a lively discussion!

This discussion will be moderated by jb beeson and shay(den) gonzalez from NYAC. jb beeson currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director at NYAC and comes from fierce, progressive organizing and community building with queer youth of color communities in California. shay gonzalez comes to NYAC from the Streetwork Project, a drop-in center for homeless and transient youth in Manhattan where he actively developed groups and workshops with, and for, young people around gender, race, class and how they relate to sex and sexuality.

If you would like to register for this call click here. Call in information will be sent directly to registrants.

About the BrownBag Series: Linking people and information: The BrownBag Networking call series is designed to be an open space for, you guessed it, the Network. So pull up a chair and enjoy a virtual lunch with as to network, share, and collaborate with collogues from around the country.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized, webinar | , , | Leave a comment

Communications Training with Kinsale Communications

By Scout,
Director, Network for LGBT Tobacco Control

Morning all! Hey, I’m in a convening of the Minnesota statewide tobacco disparity networks and this morning we’ve got Steve Kinsella here, a former PR guy for Daschle and others, giving us a training on Communications Strategies. So… instead of taking notes, I thought, why not just blog some of the high points?

So, see him in the pic to the right starting with the key elements of an effective communications plan.

Key Elements of An Effective Communications Plan

  • Goal — what you are trying to accomplish
  • Strategy — how you will accomplish it
  • Audience — who your campaign is directed towards
  • Message — your guiding theme. Must include a value + ask. Examples include: “Keep our children away from 2ndhand smoke.” “Don’t make the workers choose between their job and clean air.”
  • Soundbites — pretty obvious, examples above.

One thing lots of us struggle about is… not understanding what is news. Helping to understand that helps us understand how to make it.

What makes News?

News is an event, occurrence, or action that has an impact on the audience in either a direct or emotional sense.

Direct impact: something that directly affects the reader or his environment, friends, pocketbook, etc. Examples include: tax increases, insurance costs, unhealthy environment, crime, decisions affecting schools, etc.

Emotional impact: something that strikes the emotional chord (anger, fear, sadness, happiness), more emotion, higher news value. Examples include: puppy in well, death of celebrity, airplane landing on Hudson, etc.

Add conflict! Steve says, “Never be afraid of conflict.” Conflict is a short story, it’s tension that draws eyes. Just keep your message focused so it seems like you’re the Luke Skywalker not Darth Vader. Example brought up is the local pride, where the organizers (lots of smokers) feel that they’ve made a large health area, and that’s enough, making all of pride smokefree would hurt it. Steve suggested wade right into that conflict with your messaging. Ask questions, and some might be listened to better if you seed them via community members, not just through your organization. What about having a community member write in public forum, “But what are we teaching our youth if we have a big health section then we’re exposing them to smoke everywhere else in pride?”

Other tips to make your info into news. Make it local. Add graphics. Keep it timely. Put human face on it. Keep it simple!

Uh-oh, he’s talking about New Media now! I’ll post this and start to work on a 2nd post with that info.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Minnesota, Puerto Rico, social media | , , , , | Leave a comment


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