Wills Navy Cut

Wills Navy Cut

Wills Navy Cut (pack of 10).
Type Cigarette
Launch year 1910 (1910)
Company W.D. & H.O. Wills (former)
ITC Limited (current)[1]
Availability Available
Current supplier ITC Limited

Wills Navy Cut (aka simply Wills) was one of the first filtered Indian cigarettes to be launched. It is manufactured, distributed and market by the ITC Limited.[2][3] At that time, all the filtered brands were largely foreign. Navy Cut was launched as Wills Filter and it was India’s answer to filtered cigarettes.


Wills Navy Cut was originally manufactured by W.D. & H.O. Wills in the United Kingdom. Named after the Wills surname (of Wills family) of W.D. & H.O. Wills, the cigarette was one of the most notable products of the company in the UK. In 1910, ITC Limited (then called "Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited") commenced its operations in Kolkata. ITC started manufacturing cigarette brands including Wills Navy Cut.[4]

In July 1963 Wills Navy Cut was launched at the price of Re. 1.20 for 20 cigarettes. At launch the biggest task was to assure the consumers that the new variant with the added filter was meant to enhance the taste they were accustomed to. To tackle this problem, communications were used to highlight the great value the product offered to consumers.

In the years since, Wills Navy Cut was launched in a flat 10’s pack with a distinctive red band. The W leaf was also a part of the pack, symbolising quality and the Wills heritage. Ochre was introduced in the branding that was later changed to gold for a richer feel. One of the biggest changes in the brand was to give Navy Cut its due prominence, with this change, elements of the pack were aligned with the Classic family. The Wills Crest was replaced by the Classic Unicorns as well. Moreover, the Wills slug was expanded to accommodate Wills Navy Cut and resemble the Classic slug.

The marketing mix was designed to add to the image and success of the brand. It was launched when the category was new to the market and grew to capture the market over time.

All initial communication spoke about the perfect match of filter and tobacco, to drive home the idea that a filter was the perfect addition to a cigarette.[5] This was translated into the image promise ‘Made For Each Other’, this campaign also saw another first, with women becoming a part of the communication.

In 1968/69 competition grew in terms of lower priced filters, but the brand was undeterred and reach a brand new volume high. Moreover, the made for each other campaign got a new boost in the promotional space, encouraging couples in the urban centres to participate. Essentially, creating a parallel ‘perfect match’ in couples. The close of the contest also saw the introduction of the MEFO roundel along with a silhouette description of the MEFO couple.

In 1988, W.D. & H.O. Wills went defunct and as a result production of Wills Navy Cut stopped in the UK. Being an independent company, ITC continued to manufacture and market the cigarette in India. Despite "W.D. & H.O. Wills" going defunct, ITC till date has "From the House of W.D. & H.O. Wills" printed on the cigarettes and it's packaging.[4]

With the changing times, the brand changed too and in 2007, there was a brand new addition with the Navy Cut RSFT.[6] To encourage sales and to motivate retailors, a trade incentive program was introduced, Bano Malamal. Its eventual success, saw it sequel to it in the following year.

2009 saw a brand new beginning with the entry of Navy Cut Kings. It was a new age, ready for the millennium cigarette, delivering taste, strength all in perfect harmony. With technology being the core of the brand, technology was used to make a grand launch for this new variant. This was the very first time after the 2004 regulations that LCD animation came into action for a brand.

Made for each other

In 1965, ITC launched the campaign "Made for each other" for the brand. This advertisement featured a young couple with different backgrounds (living room, beach, park etc.) with a tagline "Made for each other". The advertisement was in response to the medical studies about the risks from smoking and emphasized how cigarette filter was safer and perfect match for good smoke. The advertisement claimed that cigarettes with filter enhanced taste and were safer.[2]

Limited Edition Packs (LEPs)

Navy Cut has been an innovator in the Limited Edition Packs segment and with the many contextual and collectable packs, the brand has always managed to raise the benchmark. Some of the famous limited edition packs include: The Cricket Edition that captured the essence of cricket during the Wills World Cup, this was followed up with The New year edition in 2009, and the Hallmark of Quality, a take on the quality and class of Navy Cut in bold red and gold.

July 2012 - Navy Cut in new shape

In keeping with the changing times, Navy Cut was given a brand new shape. It was meant to connect seamlessly with the audience. The philosophy chosen for this was: "In Perfect Balance" which was further translated to Navy Cut - Just Right Standard.

Product specifications

Wills Navy Cut is filter tipped (comes with filter). Overall length of the cigarette (including filter) is 84 mm. Cigarettes come in pack of 10s and 20s.[7]

See also


  1. "Cigarette frameset". ITC Ltd. website. Retrieved 1 Nov 2015.
  2. 1 2 "40 years ago". Business Standard. Retrieved 1 Nov 2015.
  3. "Wills Navy cut". Moneycontrol.com. Retrieved 1 Nov 2015.
  4. 1 2 "History and Evolution". ITC Limited website. Archived from the original on June 17, 2007. Retrieved 1 Nov 2015.
  5. "Top 10 Most Expensive Cigarette Brands In The World 2016". www.themeshnews.com. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  6. "Project Report Final (ITC) 2016". www.scribd.com. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  7. "Cigarettes in India". Brand alyzer. Retrieved 1 Nov 2015.
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