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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

OUGD 601 - Primary research

Interviews/ data collection/ quantitative & qualitative information.

Interview - Qualitative data - The daughter of a 'greaser', her father worked at 'British American Tobacco' for 30 years, he started just after the war in 1945.

I was presented with the chance to interview her through my dad, my aim was to ask open ended questions which she could then expand on and supply me with a rich source of information. Hopefully I could extrapolate some strong points.

Questions asked… While working at British American tobacco, how was your father looked after?

Could you tell us about his roles in the tobacco industry?

Did many people work there?

Was the idea of smoking also passed onto workers, as well as the consumers?

"It wasn't a well paid job, but he was paid weekly. His job was a greaser, every morning he would grease all the packing machines, so they worked smoothly and efficiently for the day.

It wasn't automated back then, and he had to look after all the cigarette box packing machines. During the day, any machines that stopped working, Jack was asked to fix.

He was jovial (happy) at work and got on well with his work friends and the majority of women working there heavily outweighed the proportion of men working there.

It was very noisy and there wasn't any protection or health and safety in those days.

Started work in 1945.

Approximately 800/ 900 staff.

Machines running most of the time , workers got paid a flat wage i.e. no incentive or bonus schemes.

Majority of people smoked at the factory and got a discount on cigarettes due to working there.

Jack didn't talk much about working at BAT.

Started work at 7:00am and finished at 5:00pm, Got to work by bus and train.

Cigarettes were exported around the world but majority at the Liverpool plant were for the UK. Jack smoked constantly and smoked a brand called 333" and then 555"

Jacks vocal chords twisted due to his constant smoking and got Lung cancer. Had one of his lungs taken out due to lung cancer.

Got glass vase due to his long continued service.

The following photographs were primary evidence that the daughter of Jack let me photograph...

What can I learn from this interview? Well it strongly suggests that the introduction of modern technology at the time (lithographic machines, bigger, faster printing presses) created a large supply and demand that tobacco advertisers were trying to compete with, hence the amount of employers and fact that it was proportionally machine operated. Jacks job role also illustrates that the machines were of great importance. One of the most important points that was brought to light during this interview was the fact that the majority of women working there were women. Coinciding with the war, womens social status was changing and women were beginning to take on roles of men in society, this is clearly demonstrated by the proportion of women working in the factory following the war.

Experimental study / Practical Questionnaire - Quantitative data

Control group - 10 participants - Smokers

The only information that was given to my control group was that it was an investigation into the effects of brand differentiation.

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate:

Whether brand differentiation was superficial and simply a method of promoting the act of smoking itself (through the matching of desires and attitudes in advertising)


Whether brand differentiation permeated into the taste and blend of tobacco itself, creating a product that was distinguishable from others.


Was brand advertising promoting ideas of conformity through representations of individuality? Using 5 different high-street brand of cigarettes: Marlboro, Lambert and Butlet, Embassy, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall. I was able to distinguish that the majority when blindfolded couldn't recognize the difference in tobacco blends, from this we can infer that brand differentiation in advertising is a driving force to create conformity through the representations of individuality.


The cigarettes were smoked in the same order for each participant, noise levels were kept at a minimal level to allow for concentration. In-between the smoking of a cigarette, a list of 5 brands were placed in front of the participant, who was then asked to circle what brand they thought they'd smoked.

90% of the control group were unable to recognise a brand of cigarette they were familiar with when asked to smoke blindfolded. Strongly suggesting brand differentiation was superficial and simply a method of ultimately seeking conformity.

1 comment:

  1. Are you paying more than $5 / pack of cigarettes? I buy my cigs over at Duty Free Depot and this saves me over 60% on cigarettes.


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