E-Cigs Are Winning And Marketing To Young Consumers Through Instagram

After an inflection in March 2014, e-cigarettes have taken over. The exponential growth has triggered an ‘arms race’ as companies try to gain market share and brand recognition in the new market. Companies are using data and influencer marketing to capture a young demographic of consumers, who they hope will become addicted life long customers.

Check out @pledgeworld which seems to be an innocuous site, encouraging users to use #OWNIT to presumably show how they are owning it. Click through the link and you’ll see that you are redirected to a site for the e-cig company Blu, wtf?

Opioid Marketing and Heroin Trends

Oxycodone is an opiate agonist that is the active ingredient in a number of narcotic pain medications, including Percocet, Percodan, and OxyContin.

When Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in 1996, it was aggressively marketed and highly promoted. Sales grew from $48 million in 1996 to almost $1.1 billion in 2000.

Today, the first lawsuit blaming Purdue Pharma for the opioid crisis came to a resolution:

Purdue Pharma LP has forged the first deal to resolve more than 1,600 lawsuits blaming the OxyContin maker for fueling the opioid crisis, a move that could lay the groundwork for the resolution of the rest of the litigation. The company and its owners, the Sackler family, agreed to pay $270 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma’s attorney general, the majority of which will fund a national opioid addiction center.

Wall Street Journal – March 26, 2019

The sad reality is that once on these types of drugs the addiction is real. And when access to these pharmaceuticals isn’t available thorough insurance, heroin becomes a cheaper alternative. Since these street drugs aren’t regulated, the quality is suspect and dosage is uncertain, leading to overdose. A group of researchers was able to show that internet searches for opioids can predict future emergency department heroin admission.

There are now many areas of the country where Heroin searches outnumber the amount of Oxycodone searches.

People are really tired, what’s going on here?

The most frequent query for the phrase “Why am I…” is so tired, followed by always tired. What’s going on here, were people always this tired?

According to a recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 40 percent of adults are so sleepy during the day it interferes with their daily activities; 62 percent reported feeling drowsy while driving; and 27 percent dozed off while driving during the past year.

The trend is clear – “not getting enough sleep” has increased ~600% since 2010. People are less productive and generally unhappier when they don’t get enough sleep. What can we do to reverse this trend?

Meditation and Buddhism were once linked together, now they drift apart

Back in 2004 “Meditation” and “Buddhism” went together. Searches for these terms were roughly the same, in fact “Buddhism” was searched more in some months.

What a difference 15 years makes. “Meditation” pulls away, with the trend significantly diverging in 2010. In fact we begin to see a seasonal trend of “Meditation” queries popping every January (how many of you made a new years resolution to meditate?)

Meanwhile “Buddhism” interest is decreasing, with a new trend of “Mindfulness” beginning to emerge and, I predict, will overtake “Buddhism” interest.

Its interesting to see the secularization of Meditation and Mindfulness from Buddhism in the US. We’ve seen the same trend before, the secularization of Yoga from Hinduism.

Some interesting facts from this report on the Meditation Industry

Meditation, often called mindfulness, generated $1.2 billion in revenue last year. Four in 10 adults in the United States say they meditate at least weekly, and major companies including Google, Apple, General Mills, Goldman Sachs and Aetna have adopted meditation programs for their employees. The industry has attracted $260 million in investments since 2012.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Health insurance giant Aetna reported that employees’ annual productivity rose by about $3,000 each after they participated in a mindfulness training program.
  • Headspace, the largest of nearly 1,000 mindfulness apps, raised $36.7 million in funding in 2017. The company offers in-flight meditation channels on eight airlines and released plans for public, phone booth-sized relaxation “pods.”
  • Experts say the industry’s growth raises concerns about the need for credentialing. Founders of new, for-profit mindfulness services say they are modernizing ancient teachings to make them accessible to the general public.