Date: 1971
Brand: Virginia Slims
Manufacturer: Philip Morris
Campaign: Women's Liberation
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: Woman, female, man, male, empowerment, liberation, Wonder Woman, comic, humor
Quote: We make Virginia Slims especially for women because they are biologically superior to men. Women are more resistant to starvation, fatique, exposure, shock and illness than men are.

Comment: This ad for Virginia Slims, a cigarette brand marketed exclusively to women, depicts the comic hero Wonder Woman beneath text that reads, We make Virginia Slims especially for women because they are biologically superior to men. The ad lists all of the ways in which women may be considered biologically superior to men, including such obscure coups as being less inclined to suffer from albinism of the eyes and nomadism. This is a feel-good advertisement which manipulates women into believing that the brand is modern, forward-thinking, and supportive of women s liberation. 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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