Thursday, August 02, 2007

Like the iconic cowboy of Marlboro fame, cigarette advertising is a dying breed

For the first time since 1955, not a single Marlboro ad ran in consumer publications last year. And as Crain’s Chicago Business recently reported, U.S. advertising in general for tobacco companies has dropped off significantly since its peak in 1985.

It’s not tremendously difficult to see what is happening to tobacco sales in America, and instead of trying to swim upstream, tobacco companies are putting their dollar where they are most effective, namely into direct marketing and in-store promotions. But the big opportunities are abroad, where tobacco use is growing.

Like our Persona® model, the Marlboro Man captured the attitudes, behaviors, and goals of the consumers of the product. In 1955, connecting this face with the Marlboro name was marketing brilliance.

As for the cowboy that is symbolized in this ad campaign, modern times have changed the landscape of the work. But tobacco companies have proven to be resilient and savvy, and have changed along with the landscape. The sun may be setting on American tobacco dominance, but it is rising elsewhere in the world.

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