‘Manners’ ‘difference’ ‘respect.’ When it comes to the 21st century, the trend of the language of commercials changed. With people already conscious about health issues and non-smoker’s rights becoming prioritized in many parts of the world including Japan, commercial companies came up with the idea of “Harmony.” Also, the companies already being aware that merely promoting ‘fresh’, ‘peace’ and ‘mild’ like 1970s to 90s could face limitations in contemporary Japan, they are making strategic movement by trying to ‘justify’ smoking rather than merely ‘promoting’ it. This approach is outstanding in that Japan, which is often referred to as a “homogeneity society,” which does not want social troubles. The polarization of smokers rights and non-smokers right certainly is not an issue that is welcomed yet must be solved. Thus, the cigarette company is targeting this very perspective in order to gain society’s acknowledgement and trust so that the health issues can be offset by emotions and patience of society.
7. Future prospect For decades, Japanese tobacco industry went through huge changes and social challenges, yet has survived and is still thriving largely owing to its clever ability to read the trend and wants of its society. Therefore, there is no doubt that they would continue to thrive in the future.Soon after, it is probable that more and more findings of negative effects of smoking cigarette would be discovered as science and medicine improves. People will be aware of it, and the companies would execute all-out lobby war in order to persuade its government and customers to purchase their product.
Beyond pursuing harmony, which is the current tactics, companies would need stronger sanctions in order to rationalize smoking, by calming down the expansion of non-smoker’s rights, which limits smoker’s freedom. Therefore, along with technological improvement to minimizing the health damage just like the invention of electric cigarettes, a new anthropological strategy and efforts would be introduced. I anticipate that the advertising targets be diversified.
If it was men and masculinity that largely influenced tobacco industry, it is now women and youth who would become the major targets in the future. According to the WHO analysis (WHO 2008), high-income countries, including Australia, Canada, the United States of America and most countries of western Europe, women smoke at nearly the same rate as men. Particularly in this era where more Japanese women are smoking cigarettes along with women’s advancement to career world, cigarette can be introduced as a perfect outlet to reliving stress and even out the social gap with that of men. Of course, people already do know the harmful effects of tobacco, but as this habit becomes mundane as time passes, they will become dull about the issue, as we are subject to being relaxed once we are used to it. This means that there is high chance of advertising styles returning to that of 1970s to 90s, to a more stimulating and convincing content. Advertising models again, would show comfort and freshness of smoking and show positive fetishes about smoking using sensational words that stimulate people.
Now, women are the blue oceans in the cigarette industry, while male customers can be referred to as worn out fossil fuel. Also, the companies will turn their attention more into youth group in order to construct more concrete foundations for smoking cigarettes, alluring as if cigarettes are providing outlets from loaded school works and ever-competitive college entrance stresses. Therefore, various products will be introduced in order to suit their taste, and more colorful and different kinds of cigarettes would be introduced. For instance, pink cigarette would largely gain the attention of the ladies in order to suit their feminist wants, and cigarettes would come in different color and form in order to satisfy the taste of youth. If it were men that were protagonists in cigarette advertisements, more women will appear on these them.
Now it is the role of women and maternity can become the prime targets of the smoking commercials, bringing about a whole new trend of smoking advertisements. For instance, it could show a housewife having a peaceful moment of smoking at a balcony after sending her children to school and husband to work. Indeed, this strategy could be largely efficient in various perspectives.
First, lades can have a right justification for smoking. As housewives are worn out from house works, cigarette can be represented as an outlet from the stress. Looking at the wife, or a mother finding rest in smoking, both husband and children can become more understandable about smoking Second, it can attract both men and children to smoking. By showing a wife, or a mother smoking in a house, it is likely that the family members will naturally be exposed to smoking, accepting it as a norm.
Lastly, homes can be understood as a place with freedom of smoking. Once this concept spreads, it is easier for people to accept smoking in public places as well since they become more used to this habit. Likewise, the representation of female and maternity in smoking could bring about a huge impact in the smoking culture and commercials thanks to the combined effect of anthropological concepts; providing a platform and a ripple effect of the spread of smoking habit in all parts of our society. Focus on masculinity will turn into femininity, and the “fetishism of femininity” will become the major trend in the smoking advertisement industry. Also, various linguistic and anthropological features of maternity and femininity will be applied to draw people into tobacco consumption, bringing about another social issues to solve.8. ConclusionA set of visual contents above present various features and implications of smoking and culture. First of all, the smoker’s identity depicted in the commercials show that the perspective of smoking has largely changed overtime.
As people became more aware of health issues, merely emphasizing the beauty of smoking does not seem to be influential as it turned to the 21st century. The 21st century commercials, instead of directly promoting its product, tries to give impression that the company truly cares about their customers, and that smoking cigarette is a normal behavior that deserves to be respected. Also by stressing that the smokers are thoughtful and are careful not to pose discomfort to non-smokers, it tries to convey the image that smokers and non-smokers can coexist without a trouble. The identity shift witnessed here is that while smokers back in 1970s and 90s were depicted as handsome, artistic, and outgoing, while those in the recent days are pictured as gentle and thoughtful. All in all, the smoker’s identity has continuously changed and adapted to the society throughout the course of history in relations to the society’s atmosphere and needs. From now on, it is expected that the female’s role and maternity will become emphasized and utilized in these advertisements as they settled as one of the most influential entities of our society.