This is the second part of a series looking at tobacco advertising in the student newspaper, The Richmond Collegian, published at the University of Richmond.
View Part 1 – The Early Years
The three major brands: Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, and Camel continued their all out weekly propaganda campaigns to win the minds and dollars of young people. Looking at these advertisements, one almost forgets that they appear during the early years of the Great Depression. With cigarettes costing only 14 to 20 cents per pack, they represented an affordable luxury. While the ads depict attractive men and women who enjoy a mild, flavorful cigarette there is almost no reference to deteriorating economic conditions. Here is a rare advertisement that does make a reference to the decline in stock prices.
Lucky Strike Means Adventure
The advertising campaign for Winter 1932 used the slogan “Nature in the raw is seldom Mild” and featured historic battles, lions, tigers, and snakes. Mildness is what all the manufacturers promised, but never at the expense of flavor. Several of the ads feature a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson about the world beating a path to your door when you do something well.
Chesterfield is Calling All Women
Although Lucky Strike was first major tobacco company … read more »
, Lucky Strike
The Richmond Collegian, the student newspaper from the University of Richmond, provides a unique opportunity to look at state of the art advertising from the major tobacco companies of the period. The advertising was likely influenced by the groundbreaking work of Edward Bernays who published Propaganda in 1928. Here’s an excellent BBC documentary called The Century of the Self which looks at the significant influence Bernays exerted in the fields of advertising and public relations.
The Collegian is unique in my experience for it’s large, half page and 3/4 page size, tobacco advertisements. No other businesses took out so many advertisements nor on such a grand scale. As I was taking photos for this blog, I realized this should be a series of blog posts to do justice to the subject. I was surprised to realize that the advertisements were elaborate campaigns, series of related ads that followed a theme. It is easy to imagine a Madison Avenue advertising agency pitching these campaigns to tobacco company marketers and management.
From Richmond Collegian, Dec. 2, 1921. This early tobacco ad is typical of early twentieth century advertisements. There are no deep psychological appeals. The message is simply, we have a good cigarette, you should buy it. The advertisement also included the retail price which later ads did not include
Part 1 : Cellophane and Celebrities
The cellophane wrapper to help keep cigarettes fresh was introduced in the early 1930s. Both Camel and Lucky Strike boasted of their new cellophane wrappers, both companies referred to the wrapper as a “humidor pack.”
Lucky Strike lead the effort to popularize smoking among women, mostly famously by the “Torches of Freedom” campaign carried … read more »