In Seoul, shoppers at a 7 ll convenience store stare at packs of Kent Convertible cigarettes which have just been launched exclusively in the city. The packs are apparently equipped with different colored flashing lights that are signalling for attention.
In Busan, on the other side of the country, a Korean businessman places several packets of Kent Convertible that he purchased in Seoul that morning on the table in front of colleagues and associates, dispensing individual sticks or entire packets to his enthralled guests.
In an upstairs bar frequented by American expatriates, a visitor is handing out Kent Convertible sticks around the bar, demonstrating the technique required to release the menthol flavor and then increase its strength to a riveted crowd of smokers.
Within three weeks of its launch, BAT’s new Kent Convertibles cigarette had gained unprecedented market share, exceeding BAT’s expectations and attracting smokers to its new smoking concepts, and marking another significant and unique product launch in a country that has been described as a “must win” market for cigarette manufacturers.
The Korean market has become a sort of testing ground for new products and innovative smoke concepts, with brand variants researched, designed and manufactured specifically for the country’s smokers.
The patented flavor capsule technology incorporated in the unique charcoal filter system which lends the filter the ability to “convert” from a regular charcoal filtered light cigarette to a menthol stick, and then to increase the amount of menthol released into the smoke by rolling it between the fingers (“click and roll”) is claimed to represent the most significant innovation in filter technology since filters were invented.
The product has caught on rapidly, with Korean (and ex pat) consumers buying in to the concept with gusto, proving once again that Korea is a market that embraces change and innovation.
“Korea was chosen as the market in which to launch Kent Convertibles because Koreans love innovation, they are open to new things that add value and functionality in a product,” confirmed Jeremy Flint, BAT Korea’s CORA executive director talking to Tobacco Asia recently. “Koreans love to see high tech functionality in high end products. BAT was looking for something to capture the imagination of Korean consumers. While flavor capsules are not new, they’ve been around for two or three years in other markets the charcoal filter and convertible technology incorporated in the filter which should not be confused with boost products, which have also been around for a while,. offers something unique.”
Clearly, the Korean consumer thinks so as well. Initial sales reports indicate Kent Convertibles gained a market share of over 2.3% in Greater Seoul in key accounts within a month of its launch..
The brand was launched nationwide in mid August, and is expected to continue to show the sort of performance experienced in Greater Seoul as its appeal is clearly in tune with the Korean consumer mindset.

Fatima (cigarette) – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Fatima Cigarettes (pronounced fa TEE ma) was a brand of cigarette produced in the United States by the Liggett & Myers (L&M) tobacco company. The brand dates to the 19th century, and was marketed as an exotic blend of Turkish tobaccos. The name Fatima, a common Turkish or Arabic woman’s name, helped bolster the Turkish image. Before around 1950, the package design included a stylized image of a veiled Middle Eastern woman.

The brand is perhaps best remembered today by old time radio buffs. In the late 1940s, L&M converted the brand to a king sized version and began an extensive radio advertising campaign. Fatima was the sole sponsor of the early years of the Dragnet radio series. The creator and star of Dragnet, Jack Webb, voiced a number of on air pitches for the brand and appeared in print advertising as well. There was also a short lived mystery anthology series called Tales of Fatima, hosted by Basil Rathbone. (Anecdotally, a Boston pharmacist who had smoked Fatima’s for years, after WW II noted a lack of Turkish tobaccos and wrote the manufacturer with his concerns. They apologized and sent a carton of some other brand they manufactured, even more lacking in any exotic leaf.)

The brand’s old fashioned image caused it to lose market share from the mid 1950s onward, and L&M eventually phased it out by around 1980.

In Dashiell Hammett’s “the Dain Curse” originally published in 1929 by Alfred A. Knopf Quote “She put it aside and offered me long Russian cigarettes in a white jade box. I apologized for sticking to my Fatimas…” This is the Continental Op character speaking in the first person, as always. The continental Op character is never named.

Quote from the same story, chapter 15 “I sat on the side of the bed, set fire to a Fatima, and cotradicted h m ……”

In Dashiell Hammett’s “The girl with the silver eyes” (1924) Quote “I leaned back in my chair and burned half a dozen Fatimas over the job”.

A quote from Dashiell Hammett’s story “The big knockover” (1927) “”With a Fatima in mij mouth I called to him, ………”

Also from “The big knockover” quote “I was asleep before the last draw of smoke from my goodnight Fatima was out of my lungs”.

A quote from Dashiell Hammett’s story “$106,000 blood money” (1927) ” .. made cavities in a package of Fatimas and thought ………”

Quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920 novel “This Side of Paradise” We’re the damned middle class, that’s what!” he complained to Kerry one day as he lay stretched out on the sofa, consuming a family of Fatimas with contemplative precision.

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