Date: 1932
Brand: Lucky Strike
Manufacturer: American Tobacco Company
Campaign: Nature in the Raw
Theme: It's Toasted
Keywords: Male, Female, French, Mild, Raw, Toasted
Quote: "Eric the Red, 'Nature in the Raw'- as portrayed by Harland Frazer, inspired by the marauding Viking Chieftain whose vandalism branded him as "The Terror of the North" (975-1000 A.D.). 'Nature in the Raw is Seldom Mild'- and raw tobaccos have no place in cigarettes."


Nature in the Raw

This cigarette campaign is one of the few which presents the term "natural" as a negative; in recent decades, tobacco companies, such as Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, have steered toward campaigns hawking their brands as additive-free and all-natural. In the 1930s, however, Lucky Strike took a different approach, claiming that the natural state of cigarettes was the dangerous state, while the toasting process would rid the tobacco of "black, bitingly harsh irritant chemicals" (see Lucky Strike's "Sheep Dip" campaign). Though the tactic seems different, the goal was the same: to convince consumers that a particular brand of cigarettes is healthier and safer.

This advertising campaign, claiming that "nature in the raw is seldom mild," was an attempt to sell consumers on the Lucky Strike "toasting" process. Most of the advertisements from this campaign featured an ad artist's rendition of a savage act of history, and many of the illustrations condemned Native Americans, presenting them as primitive.

The events depicted in the ads range from "The Fort Dearborn Massacre," illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, to "The Raid on the Sabine Women," illustrated by Saul Tepper. Other ads from this series featured depictions of perceived savage beasts, including lions and tigers. One of the ads in our collection identifies the lion as "the king of beasts" and the "ruler of the African jungle" due to his "brute force and savage cunning." All of these ads are meant to exemplify the campaign slogan, "nature in the raw is seldom mild." The ad copy compares these brutal acts, people, and animals to tobacco - harsh and deadly when plucked directly from nature, and in desperate need of intervention in order to become safe. Logically, the consumer is led to believe that the tobacco would otherwise be deadly, but due to the toasting process, the brand is no longer harsh or harmful - a complete falsehood, of course.

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