Collection: Why be Irritated?
From 1945 to 1946, Old Gold ran a humorous ad campaign featuring the slogan, “Why be Irritated? Light an Old Gold!” The ads depicted an irritating situation of everyday life as a metaphor for throat irritation; Both, according to the ad, could be relieved by smoking an Old Gold. In a pamphlet entitled “The Lorillard Story,” handed out to all P. Lorillard employees in 1947, the author explains that this campaign was designed to “keep many a disgruntled and disappointed smoker in good humor” during the wartime shortage on cigarettes, while also keeping “the product name before the public” (1).
The ads in this campaign tout apple “honey” as the humectant (the agent used to keep the tobacco leaves from drying out) for Old Gold’s tobacco. Apple honey – reportedly discovered through a partnership between Old Gold and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1943 – was Old Gold’s solution to overcoming the wartime shortage of humidifying agents. Of course, the use of apple honey also allowed for the consumer to make the subconscious leap to Old Golds being “honey for the throat.” This effect, coupled with the slogan, “Why be Irritated?” contributed to Old Gold’s ability to present its brand as healthful without directly making false health claims.
1. Fox, Maxwell. The Lorillard Story. 1947:49