Crush your menthol: Kool Boost Powerball cigarettes

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tobacco marketing in Japan is amazing.

We’ve covered offerings from Camel, Lucky Strike and Kent, but the attraction there was purely about marketing. Kool has upped the ante with great marketing on top of the strangest product modification we’ve ever seen. The Kool Boost cigarettes were just released in July and are being sold with a free match case in a plastic ball to promote the “powerball” within.

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While Kent’s earlier promotion with their Mintek menthol seam looks pretty cool visually, when you squeeze the Kool Boost filter you literally burst the powerball, releasing its (rather strong) menthol goodness as outlined in the above diagram. We opened one up to see what it looked like (see below), and they weren’t kidding.

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Stuff like this goes over well in Japan, particularly when tobacco is sold in creative packaging, however wasteful it may be. The plastic balls themselves were all piled into a big bin like in a children’s ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese, so at first I thought they were toys. However, what raises the ire of nanny-staters abroad is simply creative marketing in Japan.

About the Author

Michael is founder and director of the Mandalah Tokyo trends and innovation consultancy.