The Days of Sexy Cigarettes
Elegant women, strong cowboys, powerful executives, and Fred Flintstone smoked. Shouldn’t that make you want to, too?
Cigarette ads once ran as frequently as alcohol ads run today. Today we see a voluptuous woman ordering a Disarono at a male-packed bar or a seemingly over-worked CEO kicking it on the beach with a freshly-cracked Corona, but not too long ago similar ads were run to encourage smoking. Although cigarette advertising seems in the not-so-distant past, taking a look at the ads themselves seems surprisingly shocking as we now live in a world that slaps “SMOKING KILLS” and pictures of black lungs on the packs themselves. Take a peek into the University of California, San Francisco Tobacco Industry Videos Collection to recall the days.
Phillip Morris sponsored I Love Lucy which scored them a pitch from Lucille Ball herself. “Don’t say cigarette! Say Phillip Morris,” Lucy exclaims to Ricky.
Similarly, Winston sponsored The Flintstones. The pitch comes in the form of a “Winston break” Fred and Barney take while their wives run around doing housework.
Pouncing on the untapped market of female smokers, Virginia Slims was always known as the woman’s cigarette. Here, it is marketed as empowering: “You’ve come a long way, baby. You’ve got your own cigarette now, baby.”
Marlboro, on the other hand, is the man’s cigarette. Out in Marlboro Country, this cigarette is perfect for the rugged cowboy who can wrangle wild stallions.
Wild horses were apparently quite the draw for male smokers. Mustang had a similar campaign, including the slogan, “If you think it would take wild horses to make you change, you’re right! You’re ready for Mustang!”
This Newport ad is a great example of the jingles and and songs used in all kind of cigarette ads.
In a much different approach, this ad shows the good people behind the tobacco and pipe industry, reaching for feelings of community and patriotism through the business of tobacco.
To hearken back some more, check out the UCSF Tobacco Industry Audio Recordings Collection and visit their homepage.
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