Fred Original was born : the only truly independent brand in the world and the 2nd brand fully additive free after American Spirit. My flat overlooking the Geneva lake in Lausanne will remain our office for the next 6 months. Who could have imagined we would still be there today?
We placed ads in fanzine / free newspaper advertising our brand and also what we though were the best events to attend. Complaints from “some” clubs arguing that we were promoting our brand on their back put us off and we had to cancel this first campaign!
The new Fred Roses complemented the Original : a lighter taste in a colour no other manufacturer had dared to use.
To reduce the nicotine content we used a stronger filter and resistance to draw was too high to make this cigarette a “good” product. We soon learnt that we would have to work harder on selecting other tobacco varieties to offer a better balance in taste.
At the same time we changed the re-vamped the packaging of Fred Original : the start of way too many packaging design changes. We learnt only recently that modifying the packaging is often a quick fix to cover up some more profound issues in the strategy of the brand.
For our first Bday, we set up an exhibition in a Lausanne record store of the most surprising cigarette packaging ever created. Simultaneously we selected the winners of our “designIT” packaging contest