Zippo wants an encore at live concerts. “Rock On” Zippo.

There was a time when cigarette lighters were waved at rock concerts. I remember the crowd waving lighters in the air at my first live concert in the 1970’s—Jackson Browne. Then along came the lighted display provided by cellphones. When was the last time you saw a lighter at a rock concert?

But the folks at Zippo want to reignite <pun intended> the trend of using lighters at concerts to signal a shared experience with the music. Consider it an attempt to force a retro-cool status for the much forgotten brand.

The company has launched a program called “Zippo Encore” targeted at males 18 to 35. Yes, none of these people were alive when I was waving lighters at that Jackson Browne concert—and that’s the point. They’re launching it as an integrated campaign combining activities at live events, as well as a sweepstakes, giveaway, social media and online marketing program with retail tie-in.

Zippo is sponsoring 80+ live performances, which will have a flame-themed, metal kiosk staffed by t-shirted brand ambassadors who will encourage audience participation in the Zippo promotions, as well as vend Zippo lighters. Add in some Twitter hashtag promotions, and sweepstakes, and you’ve got the spark of a retro-campaign.

Rock on Zippo.


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