Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.
Marlboro as a brand of cigarettes began in England in 1847 and was initially targeted at women . At that time it was becoming a little more acceptable for women to smoke, however, brands such as Benson and Hedges was a strictly male thing and for a woman to smoke that brand would have deemed her to be either of a lower class or to be unladylike.
Although this was a good idea at the time, the marketing and advertising was unsuccessful, and so the brand was reintroduced to the US female market in the 1920s with the slogan “Mild as May” . This slogan was typically feminine, the idea of spring/summer, flowers and the gentle breeze at this time of year again reinforced the identity of the brand as an elegant, higher class lady’s cigarette. With this connotation behind it, and with its success at the time, it became a brand that any well bred woman should be interested in and should have wanted to buy into. It added an air of sophistication that most perceived from men who smoked, this empowered women. The brand gave them something that they had never had before. Although they were still of a lower class than men, it earned them respect and in a sense admiration from those around them, something that anyone at that time would have wanted to buy into. This can be related to the way that society functions now, it is the feeling of self fulfilment that makes us want to buy into the brands that we do and this is explained by Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in which it was described that individuals are motivated by their needs that they feel are unsatisfied. As a result of this, there are lower needs that often have to be satisfied before greater requirements are achieved which ultimately allow an individual to fulfil the survival, physiological, love, safety and esteem categories of needs (“deficiency needs”)
Marlboro cigarettes were marketed this way as a ‘mild cigarette’ right into World War II where they were again taken off the market. After the war, in the 1950s, the Reader’s Digest magazine published articles relating to the health concerns surrounding smoking and filtered cigarettes were marketed later on in the decade. The idea of it being a female brand was dropped and it became a man’s cigarette.
There are also claims that the original idea for the Marlboro Man came from the Chase Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico; it is said that, for this reason, on all pictures of ‘The Man’ there is a heart brand (The Chase Brand) on his chaps and his horse . The first icon of this change was known as the ‘Tattooed Man’ The image of the “new Marlboro smoker as a healthy and relaxed outdoorsman either being a cattle rancher or a Navy officer or pilot, whose wrist was tattooed and suggested a romantic past, a man who had worked with his hands, who knew the score, who merited respect,” proved that nothing was feminine about the filtered cigarettes, an ideology that was once believed by most at the time due to the way in which Marlboro was first marketed The first advertisements spoke to the public in a way that suggested that the same old fashioned flavours were being presented in a safer form. This was needed as a result of the articles published in the Reader’s Digest magazine that began to illustrate the health hazards surrounding smoking.
“Man sized taste of honest tobacco comes full through. Smooth drawing filter feels right in your mouth. Works fine but doesn’t get in the way. Modern Flip top box keeps every cigarette firm and fresh until you smoke it.” In a friendly and honest voice, the Marlboro men gained the trust of millions. The “Tattooed Man” campaign was described by Cullman, as “virility without vulgarity, quality without snobbery” After their introduction in the 1950s, Marlboro became the top selling filtered cigarette in New York. Eight months after the campaign opened, sales had increased 5,000 per cent.
Advertising executive Leo Burnett was looking for a new image with which to reinvent Philip Morris’s Marlboro brand. But Philip Morris and Burnett struggled for a decade with various male images tattooed tennis players, football players stretched prone and various guys spotted in bars near Philip Morris’ Park Avenue headquarters. Burnett famously wrote, “We couldn’t go on showing cowboys forever.” The images in the Marlboro advertisements continued to evolve and started to feature more typically ‘macho’ men such as those that were part of the navy and livestock ranchers, before the well known ‘Marlboro man’ was introduced in 1954. In the 1950s, while Camel was the top selling cigarette , the Leo Burnett Agency introduced a new advertising campaign for Marlboro. Marlboro sales went up but did not overtake Camel’s. The first “Marlboro Country” “featured skinny models, several of them gay, wearing Dingo boots and spurs mistakenly mounted upside down with the San Francisco Bay Bridge between their legs” . Burnett’s chose to stay with the more masculine icons and took his inspiration for the exceedingly masculine “Marlboro Man” icon from an issue of LIFE magazine, where the photograph (shot by Leonard McCombe) and story of Texas cowboy Clarence Hailey Long caught his attention. The Leo Burnett Agency began looking for an artist to create a rugged cowboy. They met with Helen Wohlberg, an agent for artist Bruce Bomberger. Helen Wohlberg showed them a piece bomberger had done for a magazine and that became the image they wanted. Bomberger’s art was used in five magazine ads. Each added a piece of a new image for Marlboro Man. Bomberger’s first illustration ran on the back cover of the Oct. 23, 1964, issue of Time. “The ad showed a cigarette, a rope, a glove. Another Bomberger ad appeared Nov. 23, 1964. It added a stirrup and a saddle strap. On the back cover of the Dec. 18, 1964 issue of Life, comes his face and famous cowboy hat. The persona was still not complete. In Time, July 2, 1965, Bomberger added the saddle, and the complete jingle, ‘You get a lot to like with a Marlboro filter, flavour, pack or box.’ Finally, on July 22, 1966, the last of the introductory series appeared in Life. This advertisement is more like a portrait than an ad. The new Marlboro Man squats in front of his horse.” This advertisement effectively became the Marlboro Man classic example used for the balance of the Marlboro Country campaign. After that ad ran, the use of illustration stopped. Bomberger moved on.
In the first years of these advertisements, the way that the public responded to the different “Marlboro Man” personalities were monitored. The cowboy emerged to be the most popular character. “A focused process followed over the next forty years where the cowboy was recognized in a number of campaigns. The cowboy taught consumers about filters, promoted the flip top box, enticed women to try ‘the cigarette made for men that women like.'” The cowboy was used to explain that long white ashes are a sign of good tobacco. The design of the red, white and black lettered flip top Marlboro package boosted the appeal of a strong independent individual. The public embraced the red box as a symbol of membership to the club that recognized the Marlboro Man as their spokes person. The box served as a membership card that was available to everyone, and was an investment for themselves and their reputation, in the positive image of the Marlboro Man. Eventually advertisements became silent and stopped having long tag lines, and it was the reputation and familiarity of the ‘Marlboro Man’ that beckoned customers to come with him to the place they knew well, Marlboro Country. The original Marlboro Man campaign featured close up images of all kinds of men using the product, the cowboy was one, along with lifeguards, sailors, drill sergeants, construction workers, gamblers and other types suggestive of a masculine spirit and rugged independence. By 1963, the “Marlboro Country” campaign began. This campaign focused on the cowboy and his symbolic canon: boots, hats, horses, and western landscapes.
The “real” West was discovered by Neil McBain, a Burnett art director. At the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.
While those ads were appearing, the living Marlboro Men had been taking on the same persona. And the image worked. By 1971 Marlboro had replaced Camel as the world’s top selling cigarette. In the process, Marlboro Man had become an icon recognizable around the world.
“Robert “Bob” Beck was the first Marlboro Man; and who later became recognized worldwide as the rugged adventure seeking “Camel Man” for Camel Cigarettes. Actor and author William Thourlby is said to have been the second Marlboro Man. The models who portrayed the Marlboro Man were New York Giants Quarterback Charley Conerly, New York Giants Defensive Back Jim Patton, Darrell Winfield, Dick Hammer, Brad Johnson, Bill Dutra, Dean Myers, Robert Norris, Wayne McLaren, David McLean, Buster Hobbs and Tom Mattox. Three of them (McLaren, McLean, Hammer) died of lung cancer. George Lazenby (who played James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) was the European Marlboro Man.”
By the mid 1980s, Marlboro was the best selling brand in the United States and the world, and the Marlboro cowboy was among the most widely recognized of American cultural symbols. Sold in over 180 nations, both the cigarettes and the ad campaign had become a global phenomena.
Marlboro’s television advertisements in the ’60s reflected the idea of freedom in wide open spaces, especially once the theme from the movie The Magnificent Seven was added to the scenes of cowboys leading their herds through dusty canyons of “Marlboro Country” or charging off to rein in a stray colt.
“In a world that was becoming increasingly complex and frustrating for the ordinary man,” Landry explained, “the cowboy represented an antithesis a man whose environment was simplistic and relatively pressure free. He was his own man in a world he owned.”
Part of the success of the campaign might be attributable to the fact that Marlboro forged some credibility by using real cowboys in some of the ads instead of actors just playing the part. The image took hold with enough force that even through a ban on televised tobacco advertisements that began in 1971, the Marlboro Man survived unharmed. Instead of riding off into the sunset, the image turned up in print ads and on billboards all over the country.
Three men who appeared in Marlboro advertisements Wayne McLaren, David McLean, and Dick Hammer died of lung cancer, thus earning Marlboro cigarettes, specifically Marlboro Reds, the nickname “Cowboy killers”. McLaren testified in favour of anti smoking legislation at the age of 51. During the time of McLaren’s anti smoking activism, Philip Morris denied that McLaren ever appeared in a Marlboro ad, a position it later amended to maintaining that while he did appear in ads, he was not the Marlboro Man. McLean died at age 73.
In many countries, the Marlboro Man is a figure of the past due to increasing pressure on tobacco advertising for health reasons, especially where the practice of smoking appears to be celebrated or glorified. The deaths that have been described above may also have made it more difficult to use the campaign without attracting negative comment. The image continued until recently at least in countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic.
“Death In the West” a Thames Television documentary, was an expose of the cigarette industry centred around the myth of the Marlboro Man that aired on British television in 1976. Phillip Morris sued the filmmakers and in a 1979 secret settlement all copies were suppressed. In 1983, Professor Stanton A. Glantz released the film and San Francisco, California’s KRON aired the documentary in 1982. Since then it has been seen around the world.
Reams of copy have tried to explain what one Burnett staffer later admitted was the “dumbbell simple” success of Marlboro: Its ads exploited America’s core myth of white men in white hats charging toward a boundless frontier. Millions of smokers apparently fell for the illusion that they were inhaling freedom.
The Marlboro Man, meanwhile, became a free ranging archetype, representing a kind of man and a kind of country both distortions of the original model. It took American smokers nearly 45 years to reluctantly acknowledge that what he peddled was not freedom but addiction. Twelve million Americans have died from smoking since 1964, according to the U.S. surgeon general, and some portion can be blamed on the Marlboro Man, according to Dr. Cheryl Healton of the American Legacy Foundation, the non profit created by the 1998 tobacco settlement that has roped in the cowboy salesman in the United States.
Today, Marlboros are smoked by 40 percent of U.S. smokers over 11, some 25 million people, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They consume 154 billion Marlboros a year.
Internationally, however, the Marlboro Man is just getting started, with a 6 percent share of the world market, some 78 million smokers consuming 320 billion Marlboros a year. Altria, which owns Philip Morris International, told investors in November of “terrific growth opportunity” in China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran and Algeria, where 2 trillion cigarettes are consumed and Marlboro’s presence “is essentially nonexistent.”
“Give an archetype to the people and the whole crowd moves like one man,” Carl Jung warned in 1935. “There is no resisting it.” But resist it we must.
“By 1992, Financial World ranked Marlboro the world’s No. 1 most valuable brand, with a market worth of $32 billion. That same year, dying of lung cancer, “Marlboro Man” Wayne McLaren appeared at PM’s annual shareholders meeting in Richmond, VA, and asked the company to voluntarily limit its advertising. Chairman Michael Miles responded, ‘We’re certainly sorry to hear about your medical problem. Without knowing your medical history, I don’t think I can comment any further.'”
Currently, Philip Morris’ tobacco brands are in 180 markets, have a 38% market share in the US, are the top selling cigarettes in the world, and the tenth most valuable product brands overall.
- http://www.sfgate.com/cgi bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/01/07/EDGOQALLP11.DTL
- http://www.phillipmorrisadvertising .com
- http://www.spiritus temporis.com/marlboro man/
- Channels of Desire, Mass Images and the Shaping of American Consciousness’ University of Minnesota Press Minneapolis 1982 McGraw Hill.
- http://www.cigarettes below cost.com/history_of_cigarettes.html
- ‘Social Communication in Advertising, Consumption in the Mediated Marketplace’ Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York 2005 William Leiss, Stephen Kline, Sut Jhally, Jacqueline Botterill.
- Advertising and the Popular Culture 5 Sage Publications 1996 Jib Fowles.
- Fables, Fashions and Facts about Advertising Sage Publications 2004 John Philip Jones.
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!Find out more
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:
Related ServicesView all
DMCA / Removal Request
If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please: