Collection: High Tech Filters
Filter cigarette advertisements often tout modern technology and scientific advancement to convince consumers their filters are effective, though in most cases filters are no more effective in filtering smoke than the same length of tobacco. This theme reveals a collection of ads professing state of the art filters which appear to ensure the quality and safety of a product and the health of the consumer. American examples from the 1960s and 1970s for Lark and Doral are comparable with the Chilean advertisements for Kent from 2002. These Kent advertisements promote a filter made from charcoal which they name the ACF (Activated Charcoal Filter). The abbreviated name itself (ACF) is used to make the filter sound more scientific, and words like “innovación” (innovation) and “filtro de última generación” (latest generation filter) also present Kent’s filter as the safest and most advanced.
The Kent ads all use futuristic digital renderings of the cigarette which reveal the inner-workings of the filter chamber to the consumer. One of Lark’s ads from 1960 is shockingly similar. The inside of the cigarette is revealed so the consumer can see the charcoal filling the inner chamber, and words like “invented,” “amazing charcoal,” and “modern science” work together to further present Lark as the most advanced cigarette on the market. Also in the same category is Dorral, who, in 1972, used the same technique. The ad opens up the filter and shows consumers the "strange-looking polyethylene chamber with baffles and air channels.” Even a Viceroy ad from 1954 uses this method, pealing away the cigarette paper to expose the “20,000 filters” within. The hand-drawn diagram in the Viceroy ad is surprisingly similar to the digitally rendered diagrams used by Kent almost half a century later.
Clearly, little has changed in the marketing of filter cigarettes over the decades. It is most interesting to compare these ads for technologically advanced filters with those for cork filters. As early as the 1920s, Craven “A” was ensuring that its consumers knew the brand was made with an “absolutely natural cork” tip.