Collection: Opera Stars
Opera stars had a particular appeal for cigarette advertisers. The emphasis on an opera star’s line of work was an ideal avenue for portraying cigarettes as healthful, rather than harmful. Opera stars were particularly convincing, because if an opera singer entrusted his voice and throat – his source of revenue – to a cigarette brand, then it seems impossible for the smoke to be irritating or dangerous.
Our earliest endorsement from an opera star is for Tuxedo tobacco in 1915, followed by a generic endorsement from an “opera singer” for Helmar cigarettes in 1916. Old Gold enlisted a few opera singers in the early 1930s, but Lucky Strike dominated the arena in second half of the decade, with a series on stars of the Metropolitan Opera Company. By the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, Camel was on the scene enlisting handfuls of opera singers to endorse their product.