Winfield is a brand of cigarette that is popular in Australia and New Zealand. They are also sold in Europe, Canada, South Africa and Asia. They are manufactured under license by British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) and have been available in Australia since 1972.
Winfield's market dominance encouraged the development of menthol and lower tar varieties. Differing tar strengths are easily distinguished within the Winfield brand family by the pack colour—i.e the strongest variety come in predominantly dark red packaging, the menthol variety in green etc. The differing tar strengths once gave the cigarettes different "official" names. The strongest variety, containing on average 16 mg of tar were Winfield Filters. The next strongest variety, containing on average 12 mg of tar were Winfield Extra Mild. However due to the distinctive packaging the brand was colloquially referred to by the colour. A recent settlement between the ACCC and the tobacco industry in Australia resulted in the withdrawal of such descriptors as "Mild" "Extra Mild" and "Light" in relation to cigarettes, on the grounds that this may mislead smokers into thinking one cigarette was safer than another. This has mirrored recent developments in the United Kingdom as well. Other brands under BATA's control have opted to use "approved" descriptors such as "Smooth" "Rich" and "Fine", that the ACCC has approved as not misleading. However with the Winfield brand BATA has opted to use the pack colouring as the descriptor. Thus the brand's differing products are now officially known by names which they had been colloquially known anyway, i.e. Winfield Red, Winfield Blue, etc.
Winfield entered the Australian market in 1972 in the common pack size of 20's. They were the first brand in Australia to launch a pack size of 25's and used this to convey their image of being good value to the everyday Australian. Typical advertisements at the time noted that Winfield was "5 smokes ahead of the rest". Winfield remain available in Australia today in 20's or 25's.
In 1998, a "Deluxe Soft Pack 20" variant on the brand was released. These cigarettes were aimed at a more premium market, and differed in taste and strength from the traditional Winfields available in packs of 25. Winfield Deluxe Filters for example, contained 14 mg of tar, whereas the traditional Winfield Filter contained (and contains) 16 mg. This variant attracted a disappointing market share, and was consequently withdrawn from the market. Soft pack Winfields were relaunched in 2000, and have become the best selling soft pack cigarette on the Australian market. Apart from the packaging though, there is nothing to differentiate them from their hard pack counterparts. These have been discontinued in 2008, with information distributed to the trade in February announcing this decision. In 2006, a new product extension was made available in the Australian market, with a number of varieties being released in a charcoal filter. The packaging for these products varies from the traditional products with a predominantly brushed-silver package and coloured lettering indicating the strength (Blue, Gold, Sky Blue or White).
Winfield was once a major sponsor of rugby league within Australia, including being the title sponsor for the New South Wales Rugby League premiership from 1982. The trophy given to the winner of the grand final was called the Winfield Cup. However due to the Australian Federal Government passing the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 the brand was forced to end its sponsorship following the end of the 1995 NSWRL season. The Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 expressly prohibited almost all forms of tobacco advertising in Australia, including the sponsorship of sporting or other cultural events by cigarette brands. Some limited exemptions were granted for Formula One racing and golf tournaments, however. Winfield's sponsorship of Rugby League is often credited for the brand's great success throughout the 80's and early 90's, particularly amongst young people.
Advertising & Promotions
Winfield had also enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Australian actor Paul Hogan, who helped popularise the brand through television and print advertising. The television commercials created by Sydney agency Hertz Walploe in the 1970s were particularly successful. A series of amusing events would happen to Hogan, who would always end the advertisement by saying "...anyhow" and lighting a Winfield. Within two years of Hogan's first commercials, Winfield became the top selling cigarette in Australia. The slogan "...anyhow, have a Winfield 25's" is still easily recalled today, even after cigarette advertising has long been banned in Australia. Paul Hogan's appeal to young children ultimately led to much controversy over his association with the product.
Today, the 'anyhow' slogan is very rare, except for appearing in some limited marketing materials. For a period of time, the slogan was cheekily placed on the opposite side of the Australian Government's health authority warning, meaning no matter what the warning states, a user can open the packet and read '...anyhow, have a Winfield'.
Other slogans found on an Australian Winfield packet today include "Australia's own since 1972" which is located on the silver foil insert, and "The Genuine Australian" on the top of the lid. Also, if looked closely onto the emblem of Winfield the motto "Force no friend, Fear no foe" can be seen. If a Winfield packet is turned upside down the word "PLAY" can be seen clearly.
Position In The Australian Market
Winfield is the dominant market leader within Australia, with AC Neilsen figures revealing a share of around 32% (offtake) in 2006; nearly double its closest rival, Longbeach, which is manufactured by Phillip Morris. BATA continues to push the boundaries of legal advertising to promote their flagship brand. "Limited Edition" packs featuring small advertisements and a reusable steel cigarette case are some of the tactics BATA have used to promote their brand. Cigarette advertising that originates within Australia has been banned since 1993, on all forms of media — except for the packs themselves. Some states had legislation forbidding "giveaways" or "enticements" to buy (such as a free lighter or an ashtray) was circumvented by making the steel case the packaging. If the steel case contained a normal Winfield pack inside, the company would have been in breach of the relevant act. The case, however, contained cigarettes wrapped in foil, thus the steel case was the cigarette packet, rather than an enticement to buy a packet of cigarettes. In fiscal 2004-05, Winfield was the third most valuable grocery brand in Australia. Sales exceeded AUD$750 million in total value in fiscal 2004-05.
These are all of the winfield cigerettes and the amount of tar they contain:
|Grey (2012 onwards); Silver (Legacy)||4|
|Menthol Fresh (Changed to Optimum 2017/18)||8|
|Optimum Crush Blue||?|
|Optimum Crush Gold||?|
|Optimum Crush Sky Blue||?|
|Optimum Crush Menthol Boost||?|