Date: 1999
Brand: Virginia Slims
Manufacturer: Philip Morris
Campaign: Women's Liberation
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: Woman, female, man, male, couple, dating, empowerment, liberation, humor, young adult
Quote: This is what we call redecorating.

Comment: This ad by Virginia Slims, a cigarette marketed exclusively to women, features a beautiful woman tearing up a picture of her ex-boyfriend. Her large hoop earrings and thin eyebrows provide her with femininity, while her emotional strength shines through in her expressions. The minimal copy text reads, This is what we call redecorating, making a girly task (redecorating) edgier, by relating it to rising up against men. The juxtaposition of power with femininity is a marketing ploy which tobacco companies exploit decade after decade.





Women's Liberation

One of the most common techniques tobacco companies employ in order to target women is women s liberation. Specifically, these advertisements show a woman in a position of power over a man, while being careful to keep the power-play light, carefree, and a bit flirtatious. The ads are prudent, hoping not to offend anyone while appearing to take sides, so to speak, with women. Often, these ads distract from the position of power Big Tobacco itself holds over both sexes, by pitting women against men instead of against Big Tobacco.





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