Mad Men is hooked on cigarettes. And it just can t stop. In the first scene of 2007 s pilot set in 1960 and titled Smoke Gets in Your Eyes Don Draper talks with a waiter about Old Gold vs. Luckies. He shortly learns that they re all poisonous. The theme continues, wafting through Don s controversial Why I m quitting tobacco ad to the last scene from this past season, when he lights up while entering a bar, soon to be approached by a boldly independent woman. And speaking of that final episode, just what was the top secret ladies brand that Peggy Olson had been assigned to study, name and sell? Hmmm…
The year was 1967. And in the real world, Leo Burnett was developing Virginia Slims for Philip Morris. The magazine and TV campaign launched the following summer, and it was an instant success. But according to Burnett VP and creative director Hal Weinstein, the pitch for this women only product was actually created by a team of 15 men.
The print ads were straightforward adaptions of the broadcast spots up top, a wittily farcical sepia toned scene of the bad, old pre emancipatory days with a brief caption. And below was a young, slender, fashionable, self assured model surrounded by white space, the Walter Landor designed package and the tagline.
Ah, yes that most memorable tagline. You ve come a long way, baby. It ran for decades. It was also a landmark in exploiting the civil rights and burgeoning feminist movements to sell feelings of empowerment, suggestions of slimness and, primarily, cancer stick chic.
Even back in those days, it was common knowledge that smoking was dangerous. And in the early 1970s the Surgeon General s warning labels began to appear. Further research verified that nicotine is an addictive drug, and that the rise in sales for Virginia Slims which Altira Group continues to market to a liberated woman demographic was linked to the increase in smoking among girls from 14 to 17. And women have come a long way since those original ads recent reports confirm that they re now practically equal to men in deaths from lung cancer.
The last cigarette commercial in America aired on Johnny Carson s Tonight in 1971. It was for Virginia Slims. But back to that other TV show.
Of all the original characters, Peggy s story arc has been the most progressive, both personally and professionally. From fresh faced innocent straight out of secretarial school to copywriter, she s now advanced to the point of barking orders at her subordinates at another agency. And this Sunday, we ll tune in to see how far she s come since her work on that campaign. But it seems unlikely anyone will call her baby.
In his contribution to Steven Heller s new book, Writing and Research for Graphic Designers, Michael Dooley gives the behind the scenes story about his Print magazine interview with Mike Salisbury, the creator of Joe Camel.
Advertising has also come a long way, baby. It’s time to find out how to manage all those clients that crave interactive designs. Get started with the 40 Better Ways to Work with Interactive Clients design tutorial.
Native, discount, or premium brand cigarett… [nicotine tob res. 2013] – pubmed – ncbi
The objective of the study was to determine the brand distribution of premium, discount, and native cigarette brands and to identify the factors associated with smoking these brands among a nationally representative sample of Canadian youth smokers.
Data from 3,137 current smokers in Grades 9 12 participating in the 2008 2009 Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) were used to examine the prevalence and factors associated with different cigarette brand preferences.
The most prevalent brand of cigarette smoked was premium cigarettes (44.7%), followed by discount cigarettes (33.7%), and to be native cigarettes (7.3%). There was significant variability in brand preference by province with the majority of youth in Atlantic Canada and Quebec smoking a discount brand of cigarettes and higher prevalence rates of native cigarette use in Ontario and Quebec. Respondents were more likely to smoke discount cigarettes if they were female, daily smokers, or if they only had $1 20 a week in spending money. Respondents were more likely to smoke native cigarettes if they were Aboriginal, heavier smokers, or if they reported having no weekly spending money.
A significant proportion of students from Grade 9 to 12 in Canada smoke cigarettes that are more affordable than premium brands and it appears that the market share for these more affordable cigarette options has increased in recent years. Given that the price of cigarettes is an important determinant in youth smoking behavior, it is critical to develop and continue to enforce tobacco control strategies designed to eliminate access to cheaper sources of cigarettes among youth populations.