Date: 1927
Brand: Marlboro
Manufacturer: Philip Morris
Campaign: Mass Marketing Begins
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: Female, Mild, Weight, Luxury, Beach
Quote: On the beach and at Casinos- on Fifth Avenue and in their homes- connoisseurs of cigarettes agree. That is why the delightful Marlboro blend so mild yet so rich wins instant favor and discriminating smokers everywhere.

Comment: This is an example of one of the first Marlboro ads, which marketed Marlboro cigarettes as being Mild as May to attract a female audience. This advertisement takes the next step by actually illustrating a fashionable woman smoking elegantly on the beach under a parasol. The text explains that connoisseurs of cigarettes everywhere, from the beach, to Casinos, to Fifth Avenue to inside their homes, enjoy Marlboros. In this way, the ad is able to place women smoking in all of these venues, without actually illustrating them smoking in such blatantly public places. Marlboro, the brand associated today with the rugged manliness of the Marlboro Man cowboy of later decades, was actually introduced to the market in 1927 as a woman s cigarette. It wasn t until 1954, after the war, that Marlboro underwent a sex change to compete with the three other top cigarette manufacturers.

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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