Gold Flake

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Gold Flake
Product typeCigarette
Produced byITC

Gold Flake is a classic Indian brand that has been in the market for over a century.[1] Starting off as a cigarette with a heritage, this brand has many variants that across price points.

It is sold in various varieties, including Gold Flake Kings (84 mm), Gold Flake Kings Lights (84mm), Gold Flake and Gold Flake Lights. This brand is owned, manufactured and marketed by ITC Limited. [2]


Gold Flake was produced by the Bristol company of W.D. & H.O. Wills, from 1901 part of Imperial Tobacco. "Gold flake" refers to cigarettes made using bright rich golden tobacco. After 1912, the biggest change in the brand was in 1971 with the introduction of Gold Flake Kings, followed up with the launch of Gold Flake Kings Lights in 1999.[3]

ITC In India[edit]

ITC launched the brand Gold Flake in India in the sixties. The source of the positioning of Gold Flake can be traced back to its early days. In the seventies, Indian people aspired to be honorable and genteel.[4] The lifestyle of the upper class was what the customers aspired for.[5]

The initial ads positioned the cigarette as a companion. It targeted adult male SEC A category smokers. It was meant to be a cigarette for the elite and the rich – the gracious people of India. It did not differentiate itself specifically from other brands. Advertising emphasized this comparison to gold. The statement "For the gracious people" summed the core of the brand.

After the introduction of lights as a category, the brand introduced the positioning of Honeydew Smooth – giving the brand a recognizable differentiator, this positioning was backed by the dew drop symbol. With smoothness being the biggest claim the brand used symbols like the silk scarf, feather, paint brush, violin, marble vase, hour glass, and shell as visuals to reiterate and associate back with smoothness.[6]

After this, the brand reinvented its image and positioning with a new campaign that moved away from the well-established Honeydew campaign. This was the Go smooth campaign. The campaign was successful in connecting to the Gold Flake consumer and retaining the long-standing loyalty.


Many poster advertisements have been made for Gold Flake cigarettes, especially in India.[7][8][9]

In the early 1900s, two characters by the names of "Mr Gold" and "Mr Flake" were introduced to promote the Gold Flake brand in the United Kingdom. The characters were used for about 30 years and were popular, but it did not help the sales of the brand and Gold Flake was discontinued for a short period of time.[10][11][12]


Gold Flake is mainly sold in India. It was exported to Canada, Jamaica, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Egypt, South Africa, the Palestinian territories, Nepal, Pakistan and Malaysia.[13][14][15]


The brand has many variations, including Gold Flake Kings (84mm) and Gold Flake Kings Lights (84mm)[16] available at different prices and is in the Top 10 best brands in India.[17]

As of 2013, Gold Flake is targeting the youth smokers. It extended beyond the SEC A category to the SEC B as well. The product did not boast any USP. It still differentiated itself on the purity and quality of its experience. The brand stood for a celebratory attitude. "Celebrate the feeling" was the new message. This was simply an extension of the previous message "For the gracious people". ITC has launched its smallest size which is of 64 mm and costs 150 Rupees for a 10-pack of cigarettes.[18]


Gold Flake was the main sponsor of the Gold Flake Open tennis tournament from 1997 until 2001. It was an ATP tennis tournament held in Chennai, India.[19][20] The tournament is now known as the Maharashtra Open. The tournament was held from April 6 to April 13. The event has attracted some of the best names in the tennis circuit since its inception and the number of repeat players bears testament to the popularity of the event.


  1. ^ "Top 10 best brands in India with price". World Blaze.
  2. ^ "Company History". Money Control.
  3. ^ "Top 10 Best Cigarette Brands". List Crux.
  4. ^ "Indian Cigarette Vintage Ads". At The Edge.
  5. ^ "ITC Portal".
  6. ^ "Dew Drop Pivotal to India's Goldflake campaign". Adage.
  7. ^ "Gold Flake Cigarettes Stock Photos & Gold Flake Cigarettes Stock Images". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  8. ^ "My GF". 26 July 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Indian Cigarette Ads from 1800s to 2000s". 7 June 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  10. ^ Alford, B. W. E. (5 November 2013). "W.D. & H.O. Wills and the development of the UK tobacco Industry: 1786-1965". Routledge. Retrieved 28 January 2018 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Gold Flake - Adverts Tobacciana & Smoking - Gunns Gallery". Gunns Gallery. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Stock Photo - 1927 UK Magazine Gold Flake Cigarette Advert". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  13. ^ "BrandGold Flake - Cigarettes Pedia". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Gold Flake". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Brands". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  16. ^ "ITC Launches New Cigarette Variant". NDTV Profit. September 18, 2014.
  17. ^ "Top 10 best brands in India with price". World Blaze.
  18. ^ "ITC Launches New Cigarette Variant". NDTV Profit.
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-01-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)