Social Image of Marlboro
By Julia Vasiliauskas
carved out their niche in consumer awareness very deeply. This is
evident because even people today, after huge cutbacks and prohibition
of cigarette advertising, are aware of what ‘Marlboro’ signifies.
From researching the progression of advertising and consumption for Marlboro,
I believe that Philip Morris was aware of the social
image of smoking once Marlboro became popular, and then capitalized
upon it. Their switch to a social focus in Marlboro advertising
is evident to me in the progression from a lone Tattooed (Marlboro) Man
campaign to a more social Marlboro Country. Yet, I also can identify
implicit affiliations between the men in the Tattooed Man campaign through
Yet, in the
television and magazine advertising that consisted of this tattooed Marlboro
man, the tattoo is very much a connecting feature of the advertising campaign.
The tattoo is a recognizable feature of each man in this campaign, and
while independent from other men smoking other cigarettes,
he is part of a larger group of rugged Marlboro men. This is how
even in a seemingly solo image campaign, a social belonging seems implicitly
indicated in the brand.
After people knew 'strong, rugged, independent' Marlboro as a popular brand, the continuation of its advertising was simply to invite more people to join the 'independence bandwagon'. At the end of every Marlboro Country commercial, there is always the invitation: “Come to Marlboro Country.” Philip Morris explicitly invited consumers to join the Marlboro image. They knew that many men, women, youth, and foreign countries had already joined, and so were capitalizing on their own popularity. The range of Marlboro's popularity is discussed most aptly by John Landry of Philip Morris, from the interview files of the Smithsonian: "A hand resting on the pommel of a horse with a cigarette was enough to recognize the brand".
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