British American Tobacco, Envisioning a new brand experience

Business needs



PlayLab was developed to engage a new target audience and change the mindset of traditional smokers.

The business need of British American Tobacco was to take Pebble, the new electronic cigarette sold by Vype, to a higher level, creating a brand experience much more in sync with the new entry targets composed of metropolitan young adults with a contemporary lifestyle. A stretching strategy to incorporate this new changing market behaviour, facing user needs that had not yet been engaged, designing solutions to address the deficiencies and achieve premium perception.

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The challenge was met by first undergoing extensive research, ethnographic (1 to 1) interviews establishing a direct relationship with the customers, finding the right angle to interact with them and discover what they appreciated most: urban, cosmopolitan lifestyle. There followed a 3 day workshop to define the communication strategy, inherent to meeting the shopping expectations.

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Tactically built inside a former street art supply store, the retail design included a colourful Pebble Wall at the entrance with over 300 e-cigs composing the Vype logo as a testimony of its rich variety of products. A Pebble Island was ideated where the clientele’s favourite aromas could be smelt, juices with the same fragrances as the vape flavours drunk, a Flavour Lab to acquaint them to the intensities and the feel of the product. Digital touch-points with interactive screens were also installed allowing further discovery, in-depth study and increased knowledge. The space was also conceived to hold events along with a small bar.

BAT, the tobacco industry company founded in 1902, is one of the world’s leading multinationals, its brands sold in over 200 markets with 44 factories in 42 countries. Since the launch brand awareness has increased by 31% and perception of quality by 79%. Turnover was €2.2 million with 400.000 pieces sold and the store became Pebble’s best performing retail channel.