By BETSY BROCK
Tobacco companies like Marlboro, Camel, and Skoal typically limit their web-marketing to their age-restricted websites and do not engage in social media marketing. On the contrary, the Swisher Sweets cigar brand focuses heavily on promotion through social media marketing. Swisher uses Instagram (@swishersweets), Twitter (@swishersweets), YouTube, and Facebook to promote their products. They do this by using popular or trending hashtags (e.g. #onfleek) that link their posts to general feeds that aren’t age restricted.
Recently, the company launched the “Swisher Sweets Artist Project” promotion. Through this promotion, Swisher is using social media to highlight up-and-coming bands that appeal to young people. These bands are also promoted through pop-up concerts in convenience stores called “Convenience Store Sessions.” Videos of these sessions are posted on the company’s YouTube page. In turn, the selected bands promote Swisher on their band social media pages. Swisher sponsored bands are young and hip. Bands include: Olivver the Kid, Fantastic Negrito, FMLYBND, Madyx, Fire In The Hamptons, and Drop City Yacht Club. These bands typically appeal to the 14-24 year old crowd. This type of promotion clearly helps the company reach youth consumers. Currently, Swishers are one of the top three cigar brands most popular with youth.