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What Color Is Your Cigarette Package?

17 Aug 2012

In the animal kingdom, colors matter. Some beasts use colors to hide from predators or attract mates. And beasts must know something: the whole color aversion-attraction dynamic is coming to a local supermarket near you in the form of—ugh—Pantone 448C…rolls right off the tongue huh?

Pantone 448C is actually kind of green, or, depending on your eye, something else. What it will be is the color of cigarette packages at the end of the year, as The Age reports:

When plain cigarette packs hit the shelves — scheduled for December 1 — they will be ‘‘drab dark brown’’ with large graphic health warnings and the manufacturers’ brand names written in a small generic font — just big enough to read from a distance of one metre.

How this color was picked is really the end result of research done by Victoria Parr, from research agency GfK Bluemoon, who will present her findings at the annual conference of the Australian Market & Social Research Society  (AMSRS), which is taking place in Melbourne Sept 6th-7th. It comes on the heels of the High Court’s ruling that the tough new packaging standards are constitutional.

As Parr says in a summary of the research to be presented:

Ultimately we were looking to design a pack that met the desired criteria of having low overall appeal, containing cigarettes that are harder to quit, containing cigarettes that have the highest harm to health, containing lower quality cigarettes and containing cigarettes that smokers would be less likely to consider smoking.

Meaning, you won’t be attracted to this box. Celebrate that.