Brand: Marlboro
Manufacturer: Philip Morris
Campaign: Marlboro Men
Theme: Filter Safety Myths


Marlboro Men

With the rise of filter cigarettes in response to the increasing health concerns tied to smoking, Philip Morris decided to reposition its Marlboro brand for the filter market. What was originally a cigarette marketed as Mild as May to attract a primarily female audience, all at once gained a filter and became a man s cigarette. No longer would Marlboro advertise Ivory Tips to protect the lips or red beauty tips to match your lips and fingertips, as it had done since the 1920s; Instead, Marlboro underwent a complete sex change in 1954. The brand s new mascot, the Marlboro Man, would exude rugged manliness in an effort to position Marlboro as a filter with flavor. Previously, most filter cigarettes were considered to be sissy or effeminate, lacking in flavor and meant for those who couldn t handle stronger brands. With the Marlboro Man campaign, Philip Morris worked to reverse this sentiment. The original Marlboro Men were excessive in their masculine virility. The models ranged from rough cowboys and sailors to alluring businessmen and academics. Whether the Marlboro Man was pictured preparing his gun or playing chess, he always sported a military-inspired tattoo on the back of his hand. In 1960, the tattoo was discontinued, but its message that of intrigue and masculinity remained vibrant in the Marlboro Men of the decades to follow.

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