Yes, I am well over 21 so I could see no reason why I shouldn't make the blinded test. As I tried the four leading cigarettes I kept this 'box score' on the results No. 4 (Old Gold). A home run hit!
This ad features a testimonial from Baseball Hall-of-Famer George Herman “Babe” Ruth (1895-1948). He was most well-known for his position as right-fielder for the New York Yankees (1919-1935). In 1926, Ruth had set a season record of 60 home-run hits in one season – a record which would not be broken for 30 years until Roger Maris came along in 1961. The Yankees won the World Series in 1927 and 1928, which would have made everyone abuzz with talk of Babe Ruth. Many companies sought Babe Ruth to endorse their products, and he provided testimonials for countless products ranging from bread and cereal to underwear and gasoline. Because Ruth reportedly began drinking alcohol and smoking cigars at the age of seven, it is no surprise that a variety of tobacco manufacturers enlisted Ruth to endorse their products as well. He manufactured and promoted his own Babe Ruth nickel cigar in 1920. In 1927, a year before this and another Old Gold ad were printed, he endorsed Pinch-Hit Chewing Tobacco. By 1938 he and his wife were endorsing White Owl cigars, and by 1945 he was endorsing Raleigh cigarettes. In this particular Old Gold ad, Babe Ruth is shown performing a “blindfold cigarette test,” during which he says, “Old Gold’s mildness and smoothness marked it ‘right off the bat’ as the best.” Ruth’s athleticism also speaks to Old Golds being healthy, further supported by the “Not a Cough in a Carload” slogan at the bottom of the ad. It is interesting to note that Ruth mentions, “Yes, I am well over 21…so I could see no reason why I shouldn’t make the blindfold test,” as if P. Lorillard was trying to protect itself from litigation; it was probably obvious to them that they were enlisting every young American boy’s idol in this advertisement. In fact, they were likely targeting youth, and the “over 21” comment was made as direct defense. In 1946, Ruth began displaying symptoms of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPCA); he had a tumor in the back of his nose and mouth, and the cancer eventually spread throughout his body. He underwent chemotherapy, but the cancer returned, and he passed away from pneumonia at the age of 53.
Cough, Health, Throat