The Vuse commercial strikes a decidedly different tone from other e-cigarette TV ads, which have leaned on celebrities, popular music and recast iconography associated with smoking's heyday. Instead the ad draws upon the technology behind the product, resembling work from a cellphone marketer more than a tobacco seller -- right down to promises about where the device was designed and assembled.
David Howard, a spokesman for Reynolds American, said the Vuse ads will run on TV outlets throughout Colorado. The ad buy, which was handled by Mullen, focuses on adult tobacco consumers, Mr. Howard said. Chi and Partners, the agency of record for Vuse, took care of the creative.
"It's about innovation," Mr. Howard said of the commercial. "There are no celebrities and no shots of people using it. The product is the celebrity."
The sales of e-cigarettes have climbed sharply in recent years. They hit $500 million in 2012, according to industry estimates. So far this year, e-cig sales have roughly doubled from 2012, said Bonnie Herzog, managing director and senior beverage and tobacco analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, in a press release issued Wednesday by e-cigarette maker V2. Sales are projected to reach $1.7 billion by the end of 2103, she added, with e-cigarette consumption likely to surpass that of traditional cigarettes in the next decade.