Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Smokeless bars & the matchbook industry

Today as I was lighting candles in my room I was struck by a thought I entertained long enough to decide to write a post about. Where I live, smoking in bars and restaurants just became illegal on August 15th. Where I used to live, and many other places in the States, it's already been illegal for awhile. To light my candles today, I used a lighter (pink, from 7-11, nothing fancy, like a Zippo). While lighting my nine tealights, I found myself thinking that I really prefer to light candles with matches because I kind of like that sulfur-y match smell. Then, I realized that I don't think I've ever actually bought a book or box of matches. I always "steal" them from bars or restaurants, which technically isn't stealing at all because they usually promote the establishment or some associated product. So, by taking it and displaying (ie. on the table, by the candles) a "stolen" book or box of matches somewhere in my home, or whipping it out to light a cig (something I don't, but many people do), is promoting the establishment or a particular product. If you're super-interested, you can actually find a brief history of the matchbook and matchbook advertising here.

So, my final thought is... I wonder how smokeless bars and restaurants have impacted the advertising and promotional practices within the hospitality industry? I'm making a mental note to look next time I'm at a bar, but do bars still give out matchbooks if they are non-smoking establishments? I guess, technically, you could smoke outside and that it wouldn't really much matter to have matchbooks inside the bar anyway because people that would see them are already there... People would still pick them up and take them away and they would serve the same promotional purposes... Hmmm...

No comments: