Coca-Cola markets a coffee/cigarettes combo in Japan

coke11Caffeine and nicotine … when there’s a lot of stress and anxiety in the air, you can expect more of these drugs to be flowing through the collective bloodstream. So it’s not a surprise that Coca-Cola has come up with a clever (some might say devious) marketing partnership to take advantage of Japan’s anxiety.

Coca-Cola’s Georgia canned coffee, the top seller in the market and basically positioned as the working man’s brand, has been appearing on shelves in combo packages with a pack or two of cigarettes. First it was Georgia and Phillip Morris brands in the AM PM chain of convenience stores. And now, with British American Tobacco, even the package color and design schemes match, enhancing the co-branded feel.


It’s too early to tell whether this effort is a success and something that will be around for a while, but it looks like a win-win for both Georgia and the cigarette brand partner. Georgia strengthens its working man image among a consumer segment that probably has the highest proportion of smokers. And the ever-assailed cigarette brand finds a new sales channel, and in a combination that’s as logical for most smokers as peanut butter and jelly.

1 Responses to “Coca-Cola markets a coffee/cigarettes combo in Japan”

  • It seems to me that, from a packaging standpoint, that what associates these two items in the mind of the consumer is not just that they are consumed in anxious times, but also that they are often consumed in combination — simultaneously.

    Not only are they consumed together, but they are often consumed immediately after purchase. And especially when purchased at a convenience store.

    So, here’s my question. Is that canned coffee typically consumed at room temperature in Japan? It would seem to me that this behavioral attribute would be necessary for the consumer to be motivated to make the purchase in a convenience store. If the consumer has to go home and either chill or heat the coffee, then it seems that much of the motivation that should be driving the purchase — instant consumption — would be lost.

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