Cigarette Ads Through the Years: How Tobacco Companies Reflect and Reshape Society by Flora M. Brown - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Cigarette Ads Through the Years: How Tobacco Companies Reflect and Reshape Society by Flora M. Brown


Claim: Julia Roberts is smoking our cigarettes. ... We know that Julia doesn't smoke this brand; perhaps she doesn't smoke at all. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cigarette Ads Through the Years: How Tobacco Companies Reflect and Reshape Society by Flora M. Brown

Cigarette Ads Through the YearsHow Tobacco
Companies Reflect and Reshape Societyby Flora
M. Brown, Ph.D.
Unit Question What messages do American product
ads send to society?This presentation will
compare, contrast, and critique print, radio, and
magazine cigarette ads from before and after 1950.
  • What is the brief history of cigarette ads?
  • What implied messages do cigarette ads convey in
    words, visuals and special effects?
  • How do tobacco companies get their messages to
  • What manipulative devices are used to persuade
  • How has society responded to these messages over
    the years?

A Brief Smoky History of Cigarettes
  • 6000 BC First grown in the Americas
  • 1000 BC Possibly Mayans were first to smoke and
    chew it
  • 1600 Production well established in New World.
    Although His Holiness Pope Clement VIII
    threatened anyone who smoked in a holy place with
    excommunication, smoking became popular with
  • 1856 First cigarette factory opened in U.S.
  • 1858 Fears about effects of tobacco on health
    raised in The Lancet
  • 1964 U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry announces
    that smoking causes lung cancer
  • 1965 Warnings go on cigarette packages
  • 1971 Government bans broadcast cigarette ads
  • 1988 U.S. Surgeon General says nicotine is an
    addictive drug.
  • 2003 New York City bans smoking in all public
  • Click here to see why ?

  • Cigarette ads before the 1900s were considered
    in poor taste. But that was when they were still
    being hand-rolled. Once they began to be mass
    produced, Wm. S. Kimball company began to place
    ads to go after a growing literate market. Here
    is one of their early ads from 1800s.
  • Claim These cigarettes are handmade from the
    finest leaves. And the company has won 14 prize
  • Message Smoke these cigarettes for refined
  • Critique Did you notice the grand folks riding
    in a carriage on the upper right and the cherub
    in the upper left? Although women werent the
    initial target audience, they are pictured here
    in the lower left to round out of the picture of
    the desirable, luxurious and heavenly things we
    all want.

  • Even though fears about the dangers of smoking
    were raised as early as 1858, companies ran ads
    with positive and sometimes downright deceptive
    claims and messages through the 70s. 66 of
    adult males under 40 smoked according to a 1939
    Fortune Magazine.

Claim Cigarette tobacco tastes good and gives
pleasure. Message Smoking will calm your nerve
s and soothe your disposition. A young Maureen
OHara smokes our cigarettes and is still
beautiful. Critique The use of the term psych
ological fact implies that the calming effect of
Camels has been proven.
  • Recognize this guy?
  • Before he was an actor, a governor and a
    president, he was a radio sportscaster at WHO in
    Des Moines, Iowa. Even though he didnt really
    smoke he posed for this publicity shot for
    Kentucky Club Pipe Tobacco and Kentucky Winners
    Cigarettes. The postcards pictured here were sent
    to anyone who wrote him at WHO.
  • Well. . .
  • did you guess who he is?
  • Claim Chesterfield cigarettes are Ronald
    Reagans favorite because theyre mild
  • Message Ronald Reagan smokes. A handsome
    celebrity chooses Chesterfield, so it must be the
  • Critique Hosts were often used to endorse
    products because it was cheaper than hiring
    someone else. But how deceptive can you be than
    to get a nonsmoker pretend hes smoking? Of
    course now its common practice.

Virginia Slims broke from the competition by
riding the wave of feminism to create a cigarette
marketed to women.
  • Claim The note card pictured here was originally
    part of a set of humorous cards free with the
    purchase of Virginia Slims cigarettes. When this
    set of cards was issued in 1981, the Virginia
    Slims advertising campaign was so well known that
    it wasn't necessary to have either the brand name
    or a picture of the pack on the ad.
  • Message Virginia Slims understands the feminist
    perspective and can even laugh with women at the
    old antiquated roles.
  • Critique Virginia Slims appealed to womens need
    to be understood and valued. They even produced a
    slimmer and longer product--never mind that there
    were fewer in the package. And that slogan
    Youve come a long Baby! Who wouldnt love a
    cigarette that celebrated your freedom from the
    old ways?

  • One popular slogan for "Chesterfield" cigarettes
    was "They Do Satisfy." In 1917, World War I
    started. Cigarette companies used pictures of
    soldiers smoking cigarettes in their advertising.
    Many people viewed soldiers as heroes. When they
    saw the soldiers smoking, they started smoking
  • Claim This ad for Chesterfields even promotes
    it as the perfect Christmas gift.
  • Message Santa endorses Chesterfield. These
    cigarettes will put a smile in your smoking. They
    make your holiday shopping so convenient since
    theyre wrapped and ready to go.
  • Critique Using a smoking Santa to sell these
    cigarettes will appeal to children no matter what
    the company says. Next to the Marlboro man, Santa
    is one of the most recognizable icons in

This is one of the most recognizable ads in
advertising history. Claim A strong, virile,
masculine cowboy smokes Marlboro and roams the
range all day. Message Smoking Marlboro will h
elp me be self-reliant, independent and free from
authority. Ill be one of the cool people in
Marlboro Country, where theres not even a need
for a sheriff. This is the Mild Mild West.
Critique The white hat confirms that he is the
good guy and the red shirt stresses power. The
eventual irony, of course, is that the Marlboro
man contracted cancer.
After broadcast cigarette ads were banned,
tobacco companies used the money they were no
longer spending on broadcast ads to develop new
  • Product placement in movies
  • Many companies
  • Sponsor sport and other events
  • Virginia Slims Tennis Tour
  • Winston Race Cup
  • Promote new musicians
  • No Man MusicVirginia Slims

  • In product placement tobacco companies pay
    producers to use their product as part of the
    props in a movie. The name of the product must be
    prominent, of course.
  • Claim Julia Roberts is smoking our cigarettes.
  • Message Julia is a smoker and prefers our brand
    over all others. Shes one of the beautiful
    people and we can be like her if we smoke this
  • Critique Now were being manipulated in the most
    dangerous way of all. We know that Julia doesnt
    smoke this brand perhaps she doesnt smoke at
    all. But the mere fact that weve seen this brand
    in her hands will now place a subsconscious
    preference in our minds.

Product placement pays well.
Soon the government clears the air about lies in
cigarette advertising
  • When tobacco companies realized that women
    werent smoking as much as men, women started
    appearing in cigarette ads.
  • One famous ad for Lucky Strike cigarettes read,
    "I light a
  • Lucky and go light on the sweets. That's how I
    keep in shape and always look peppy." Cigarette
    companies told women that they would not gain
    weight if they smoke their cigarettes.
  • "Not a Single Case of Throat Irritation Due to
  • Camels. The Federal Trade Commission stopped
  • ads like this one. Instead, tobacco companies
    came out
  • with filtered cigarettes.

  • Radio ads with celebrities endorsing cigarettes
    were common
  • Click here and scroll down to hear how a company
    used World War II to promote their products in a
    1943 radio ad
  • Cigarette ads that were entertaining were also
  • In the days of radio, tobacco companies found
    that jingles helped sell their cigarettes adding
    a fun element. Try listening to the jingle at the
    top of this page without tapping your feet.
  • http//
  • Tobacco companies were clever.
  • There was the Winston jingle "Winston tastes
    good like a cigarette should. Winston tastes good
    like a SNAP! SNAP! cigarette should." Even
    though they offended a few with this blatant
    usage error, it made them wildly popular. But at
    least they were telling the truth. They
    cigarettes did taste horrible like we expect a
    cigarette to taste.

  • Using a variety of techniques such as
    testimonials, hyperbole, flattery, nostalgia and
    many logical fallacies, cigarette ads send a wide
    number of messages to us.
  • Some of these messages try to convince us that by
    smoking their products we will experience
    happiness, social acceptance, sophistication,
    romance and freedom from rules and restrictions.
  • As laws and social favor has turned on them,
    tobacco companies have found clever ways to still
    make their companies profitable. Even strategies
    like helping in the anti-smoking campaign or
    suing movie producers for placing their products
    without their permission have still resulted in
    profits for cigarette manufacturers. Wherever
    tobacco company names are seen, they are
    influencing all of us, especially our most
    vulnerable our children.
  • Continued efforts are needed by citizen and
    government groups to counteract the strategies
    and tactics employed by tobacco companies.

  • History of smoking. (n.d.). retrieved Jan. 08,
    2005, from http//
  • (n.d.). retrieved Jan. 08, 2005, from Tobacco Ads
    Web site http//
  • O'Connell, V. (2004, June 14).Tobacco makers want
    cigarettes cut from film. The Wall Street
    Journal, pp. .
  • Reilly, P. M. (1997, January 15).Virginia slims
    gets its own record label. Wall Street Journal,
    pp. .
  • Schoolcraft, H. (n.d.). Schoolcraft on the origin
    of tobacco. retrieved Jan. 08, 2005, from