GENERAL CIGAR'S COHIBA BRAND FIRES UP AD BLITZ: BRAND'S $3 MIL, 3-MONTH EFFORT IS UNUSUALLY PRICEY FOR CATEGORY

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General Cigar, a marketer whose brands range from hand-rolled cigars to low-priced stogies, will spend $3 million in three months-an unusually high sum for the category-to introduce a new version of its superpremium Cohiba.

All other General Cigar brands individually receive $2 million or less in annual support.

8-PAGE AD

The company will break an eight-page ad in the October issue of Cigar Aficionado and a four-page insert in October issues of titles such as Forbes, GQ, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.

"A world beyond other cigars" is the tagline for the Cohiba advertising.

The campaign is the largest ever for a General Cigar brand. In addition to premium brands, the company also markets low-price cigars such as Tiparillo and Tijuana Smalls.

ADS FROM MCCAFFERY

The Cohiba ad campaign was created by McCaffery, Ratner, Gottlieb & Lane, New York, which also handles General Cigar premium brands, including Macanudo and Partagas.

"The advertising is all about an intriguing, even mysterious lifestyle," said Sheila McCaffery, exec VP-creative director at the agency. "It's a lifestyle that separates Cohiba from all other cigars."

READY TO GO NATIONAL

Since 1978, General Cigar has been selling, through Alfred Dunhill Ltd., a limited number of Cohibas made by its Dominican subsidiary, Diaz & Cia. Now, having spent six years reformulating the cigar with tobacco grown from Cuban seeds, the marketer is ready to distribute the brand nationally.

According to General Cigar President Austin McNamara, the word-of-mouth publicity from the limited sales has built up tremendous awareness.

'LOT OF BRAND AWARENESS'

"Dunhill was always sold out. The cigars never even hit the shelves," Mr. McNamara said. "It's got a lot of brand awareness and we want to leverage that."

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