Collection: Macho Men
The use of macho men in advertisements has been a successful strategy used by the tobacco industry to capture the male market. In fact till date, the idea of rugged masculinity brings to mind the “Marlboro Man.” The concept of the Marlboro Man was introduced by Philip Morris, the manufacture of the filtered brand of cigarettes, in an attempt to change brand perception that filtered cigarettes were meant only for “sissies.” The ad was so well received that the relationship between masculinity and smoking quickly caught on national conscience. The concept was successfully used in the United States from 1954 to 1999 and in developing countries for even longer.
Leading electronic cigarette (e-cig) manufacturer Blu has recreated the machismo of the “Marlboro Man” in its advertisements featuring actor Stephen Dorff. Much like the campaign that it is inspired by, the ads seem to project and celebrate the success of a mature, rugged person, who worked hard for his success. In these ads, Stephen Dorff espouses themes of freedom, independence, success and adventure; concepts that are very appealing to men. In one of the ads, Stephen Dorff asks other men to “Rise from the Ashes.” “After 20 years of smoking, I’ve taken back my freedom…. C’mon guys, we’re all adults. Isn’t it time to rise from the ashes,” he asks?
An ad for V2 Cigs has the image of a cowboy riding the desert alone in his motorbike. Bull Smoke e-cig’s website has the image of a cattle rancher kicking up a dust storm as he gallops along the dry desert, with a rifle in his hand. While the rancher does not have an e-cig in his mouth, it is patently obvious that the brand is being marketed to rugged, masculine men.
In most advertisements featuring macho men, the size of the vapor plume from the e-cig seems to be central to some of the ads but women occupy a secondary position if at all they appear in the ad.