Date: 1936
Brand: Lucky Strike
Manufacturer: American Tobacco Company
Campaign: Singers & Performers
Theme: For your Throat
Keywords: Female, Throat, Voice, Irritation, Cough, Toasted, Natural, Organic, Light, Movies, Singer, Fashion, Luxury, Seductive, Carole Lombard
Quote: When I had to sing in a recent picture, says Carole Lombard, I considered giving up smoking. But my voice teacher said I needn't if I'd select a light smoke- Luckies. I soon found that even when singing and acting twelve hours a day, I can smoke as many Luckies as I like without the slightest throat irritation.

Comment: Academy Award nominated Actress Carole Lombard (1908-1942) endorses Lucky Strike in this ad, claiming that she almost gave up smoking when she had to sing for a movie role. Unfortunately, her singing coach allegedly recommended Luckies as a light smoke which would not irritate her throat even when singing and acting twelve hours a day. Paramount would have enjoyed the publicity it received from this ad, as well as the publicity afforded to its star actress, Carole Lombard, and newest film, True Confession. In addition to this 1937 ad, Lucky also printed a second ad featuring Carol Lombard in 1937 which provides publicity for another Paramount production, Swing High, Swing Low (released three months after True Confession ). Lombard also endorsed Old Gold cigarettes two years prior in 1934 for their throat-ease campaign. The actress passed away tragically in a plane crash at the age of 33.

Singers & Performers

In the 1920s, tobacco companies began enlisting hundreds of celebrities to endorse their products. In these advertisements, movie stars, famous singers, athletes, and even socialites graced the pages of popular magazines, editorials, and newspapers printed across the country. The 1920s and 1930s were the heyday of celebrity endorsement, with celebrities hawking everything from cigarettes to soap, from pantyhose to cars. However, it seems that no company was as prolific in its celebrity ad copy as Lucky Strike.

Singers were vital components of celebrity testimonial campaigns for cigarette companies; the emphasis on healthy, clear voices in the singers line of work was an ideal avenue for portraying cigarettes as healthful, rather than harmful. The concept was that if a famous singer entrusted her voice and throat her source of revenue to a cigarette brand, then it must not be so bad! If it s good enough for Frank Sinatra, it s good enough for me, a consumer might decide. It is ironic, of course, that these ads also worked to reveal the possible side effects of smoking by providing a problem (irritated throats, for example) and a solution (smoke our brand.) Still, this problem-solution advertising was very popular at the time, and worked to position one brand as the exception to the problem rule or as the least problematic of all cigarette brands. It also served to trivialize health side effects of smoking, masking more serious side effects in the process.

Stars were also used to attract a younger crowd. Stars were glamorous and represented a walk of life attractive to consumers who were already invested in tabloids and the lives of the show business elite. It wasn t until 1964 that tobacco companies were banned from using testimonials from athletes, entertainers, and other famous personalities who might be appealing to consumers under 21 years of age.

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