Date: 1928
Brand: Chesterfield
Manufacturer: Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company
Campaign: Mass Marketing Begins
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: woman, female, man, male, young adult, teen, car, romance, dating, couples
Quote: Blow some my way

Comment: In this ad, the young woman glances at the man s cigarette longingly as the smoke billows into her face. As the man leans forward, it almost appears as if he is offering the woman the cigarette, but she shies away coyly. It is clear that the woman is enjoying the smoke from his cigarette, and the text, Blow some my way, supports this reading. A contemporary New York Times article from 1928 describes this ad as a subtle suggestion that women smoke: The woman who asks for a man to blow the smoke in her direction, the article says, is not likely to be satisfied with a mere whiff. The article suggests that these techniques were profoundly clever in their approach. While the Blow some my way campaign might not be as offensive as if it were to actually illustrate a woman smoking in an advertisement, it still manages to imply that this young lady will be smoking with her beau soon.





Mass Marketing Begins

As the threat of tobacco prohibition from temperance unions settled down in the late 1920s, tobacco companies became bolder with their approach to targeting women through advertisements, openly targeting women in an attempt to broaden their market and increase sales. The late 1920s saw the beginnings of major mass marketing campaigns designed specifically to target women. Cigarette manufacturers have for a long time subtly suggested in some of their advertising that women smoked, a New York Times article from 1927 reveals. But Chesterfield s 1927 Blow some my way campaign was transparent to the public even at the time of printing, and soon after, the campaigns became less and less subtle. In 1928, Lucky Strike introduced its Cream of the Crop campaign, featuring celebrity testimonials from female smokers, and then followed with Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet in 1929, designed to prey on female insecurities about weight and diet. As the decade turned, many cigarette brands came out of the woodwork and joined in on unabashedly targeting women by illustrating women smoking, rather than hinting at it.





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