Collection: Couples & Cast
They say that two is always better than one, and this mentality was certainly true for the celebrity testimonials represented in this theme. When tobacco companies could land a celebrity couple in one ad, it could advertise its cigarettes to both males and females in a single blow. Oftentimes, the leading female and male stars of a movie would sit for a single tobacco ad in order to promote their upcoming production. For example, Patricia Morison and Cole Porter both praise Camels in one ad to debut their production “Kiss Me, Kate.” Other times, celebrity couples could promote their motion picture studio in general, rather than a specific film. For example, an ad for Robt. Burns Cigarillos features Humphrey Bogart and his wife, Lauren Bacall, and highlights their co-star positions at Santana Pictures.
Famous voices, in this case actors and actresses, had a particular appeal for cigarette advertisers. The emphasis on a healthy, clear voice in the celebrity’s line of work was an ideal avenue for portraying cigarettes as healthful, rather than harmful. The concept was that if a famous actor entrusted his voice and throat – his source of revenue – to a cigarette brand, then it must not be so bad! In addition to providing health claims, movie stars were also 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.