Collection: Movie Stars - Men
The 1920s and 1930s saw the heyday of celebrity endorsement, with celebrities hawking everything from soap and pantyhose to canned beans and cars. Tobacco companies were especially fond of celebrity testimonials, enlisting hundreds upon hundreds of celebrities to endorse their tobacco products well into the 1960s. In these advertisements, movie stars, famous singers, athletes, and even socialites graced the pages of popular magazines, editorials, and newspapers printed across the country.
Famous voices, in this case male movie stars, had a particular appeal for cigarette advertisers. The emphasis on a healthy, clear voice in the actor’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! For example, a consumer might see a few ads and muse, “If Perry Como and Big Crosby trust Chesterfield, then it’s good enough for me!” 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.