Date: 1970
Brand: Virginia Slims
Manufacturer: Philip Morris
Campaign: Women's Liberation
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: Woman, female, empowerment, liberation, political, president, humor, adult
Quote: Rose Mary for President. Someday. Meanwhile you've got Virginia Slims. The taste for today's woman.

Comment: This ad for Virginia Slims, a cigarette brand marketed exclusively to women, features a campaign button for a woman running for presidency, with the text below reading Someday. The brand represents itself as supportive of women in politics, but tells women to be complacent with the fact that for now, they have their own cigarette just as good as being president, right? The first woman to ever run for president ran in 1872. One-hundred years later, in 1970 when this ad was printed, women had still failed to win a primary election for a major political party. Virginia Slims 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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