Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thai Cigarette Packs

As you can see, the Thai government requires that all cigarette packs carry a bit more than the usual words of warning. Specifically, 50% of the pack must carry an image, selected by the health ministry. Initially, there were six images, but that has expanded a bit.

Put them all in a case and sell the collection at Jatujak market, next to the pinned rhinoceros beetles and walking sticks! A truly unique gift, though it appears that China and New Zealand are considering similar regulations.

Questions arise. Are the images correlated with the flavors (e.g. American blend vs. "rich, distinctively smooth")? Can we assume that all images appear with equal frequency? After all, brown M&M's occur 30% of the time, far more frequently than blue, orange, and green. I'd swear the bottommost man-on-respirator pic appears with greater-than-chance frequency in the gutters of Bangkok. Do consumers actually prefer/reject certain images?

There's no need for translation on most of these packs. That, in fact, is one purpose of the images...illiterate folks can still get the message. One image, however, deserves an explanation. It's the one showing one hand sprinkling water over another. That's actually part of a Thai Buddhist funeral ceremony, and the rightmost hand is supposed to be that of a corpse.

I'll try to post the entire collection.

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