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Ad Watch: ‘Unstoppable’ VUSE Alto TV Spot Closely Mirrors ‘Nicotine Addiction Checks’ on TikTok
  1. Kristy L Marynak,
  2. Meghan Moran
  1. Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Kristy L Marynak, Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205-2103, USA; kmaryna1{at}jhu.edu

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A television (TV) advertisement launched in Spring 2020 for Reynolds American’s VUSE e-cigarette, titled ‘Unstoppable,’ features VUSE Alto devices undulating in colour-coordinated ribbons or waves around a neon-lit room (see figure 1).1 A hip-hop jingle accompanies the visuals with the chorus: ‘Unstoppable! Who us? YES! Passion, CHECK! Drive, CHECK! How much you gonna give? That’s a hundred percent. Gonna take it to the top, won’t settle for less.’

Figure 1

Screen capture of VUSE Alto devices arranged in colour-coordinated ribbons.

This ad is notable for its similarities to ‘Nicotine Addiction Check’ memes on the short-form video sharing app TikTok (see figures 2 and 3).2,3 These user-generated videos have been popular since at least late 20194 and frequently feature spent e-cigarette devices and liquid refills (often Puff Bars and JUUL pods) arranged in colour-coordinated rows, cascading into a trash receptacle. The …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors KLM designed, wrote and revised the manuscript. MM participated substantively in design and editing of the final manuscript.

  • Funding MM holds an Innovation in Regulatory Science Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository.

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