Date: 1929
Brand: Gibson Girl
Manufacturer: Manoli
Campaign: Mass Marketing Begins
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: Female

Comment: The German Gibson Girl brand of cigarettes was introduced in 1910, and a seductive woman was featured on the box. Though this advertisement illustrates a woman relaxing with a book and smoking a cigarette, the copy translates to Zesty and racy, and implies that the Gibson Girl heutigen Zeit (of today/trendy) is sexy and desirable. The advertisement thus works at appealing to both genders, but especially to women who are seeking a more independent, masculine role. The ad was illustrated by Stephan Krotwoski.

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.

   →  View Larger Image