1/7/13

Ads #61: Tobacco


I haven't smoked in over ten years, and I'm so glad I quit the habit.  Not only is it bad for your health, but it is expensive as hell.  No thanks.

That being said, there was nothing better than that first inhale of a long awaited cigarette break. No hardship was too unbearable as long as you knew a beautiful cigarette awaited you at the end - it was the omnipresent light-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow.  The pot of gold that awaited at the end of drudgery.  It was almost worth the ensuing cancer.

And non-smokers just can't understand how those cancer-sticks added something wonderfully intangible to a night out drinking. Who can say why a coffin nail in your hand at a bar or party made the experience so much better.  The combo of cigarettes and alcohol is something I will forever miss.



Those young'uns out there will never be able to grasp the utter ubiquitousness of the cigarette back in the seventies and even most of the eighties.  There was basically nowhere you couldn't smoke: airplanes, offices, shopping malls, hospitals,.... most schools even had designated smoking areas where the seniors could smoke.  You couldn't walk ten feet back then without running into an ashtray - and the streets and sidewalks were littered with butts (and pop tops).

So, in memoriam of the late-great cigarette (why did you have to be so damn bad for our health!), here's a bunch of super cool tobacco ads from back in their heyday.  Enjoy.




I always liked the Benson and Hedges "broken cigarette" theme they kept up for years.  It was genius in that the humor distracted you from the ill-effects of smoking; plus, it was an easy opportunity to throw in some cheesecake.  Speaking of...



While Virginia Slims targeted the female smoker, most other ads went for the males - which more often than not meant implementing the 'sex sells' approach. After all, it was the seventies.




The "down home taste" campaign is amazing to me.  Like it's hot apple pie and fresh baked bread from the country store. These are about as disingenuous and misleading as the 'Made in the USA" Wal-Mart ads. 


Smoking in the office?  She'd be tasered and escorted from the premises in handcuffs today.






This Salem ad seems to have taken a page out of the Newport playbook.  For cigarette ads that push the subliminal envelope, Newport has them all beat.  Every ad was a Freudian orgasm.

16 comments:

  1. Awhile back, I was talking with my mom, saying how it's too bad smoking is bad for you because the accessories are cool, i.e. lighters, cigarette cases, boxes, ashtrays, etc... Just look thru an old Sears or Penney's catalog. The height of cool swank.

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  2. I don't smoke, but i wouldn't mind taking one of those Benson and Hedges cigarette breaks.

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  3. Give her your Tipelet and watch her smoke? I'm sure no sexual content was meant.

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  4. Yes, the B&H ads were fantastic. There was also a series of Camel ads that were a lot of fun; Can you spot the Camel Filters smoker? My favorite.

    In the one B&H ad, I'm focusing on that gorgeous green Vega.

    Manikin ad. Great googly moogly.

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  5. Makes me want to hunt down my old well-thumbed copy of Subliminal Seduction...

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  6. When I was in high school, early '80s, anyone over 16 could smoke or chew tobacco in designated areas with a parent-signed permission card. Of course a lot of others took the risk and did it without having the card.

    Then, in the 1990s, my Dad's wife worked at a credit union where you weren't even allowed to use tobacco. At all. They tested people for nicotine! Yes, pee in a cup for tobacco use. I couldn't believe it was legal. I suppose it was for the insurance.

    I spotted a denim mini in the above ads. You know that's my weakness.

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  7. pffftt....If she's a marine biologist, then I'm an astronaut.


    (I'm not an astronaut.)

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  8. Love ad #4! Sure, health fads crop up every few years, but those of us who recall the 70s remember how everyone was on a bike (due to gas being an unbelievable 59 cents a gallon or more)! This guy could be seen as a regular weekend bicyclist, not a health nut!

    Recall how, in the 70s, every woman came in a room, and sat three things down on a table? Her purse, lighter, and smokes.

    Al Bigley

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  9. Also, those "Tiparilo" ads were keeping up with the times, while being clever (remember that in advertising?). They used to employ the "does a gentleman offer a lady a Tiparillo" slogan for years, then, once women's lib came in, they offered such tags as "does a gentleman offer a marine biologist a Tiparillo...?"

    Al Bigley

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  10. Ha ha... the memories... makes you kind of wish you could light up. Do you know, though, I was visiting an old hotel near Harrisburg, PA, two months ago. While in it, I wandered down a specific hall and was sucked into the smell of America Before 1980. Powerful nostalgia filled me and I felt childlike, safe and secure: like the world was normal again. Then I noticed there were no "No Smoking" symbols on any of the hotel suite doors.

    I had wandered down a smoking-allowed corridor, the only one in the hotel. The smell of old cigarettes and ashtrays read to my Generation X mind as "safe and normal, the grownups are in charge, everything is okay".

    On an unrelated note, I bet I could come up with a TV sitcom based on every one of these ads' visuals :)

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  11. I have this GREAT one from the mid to late 80s featuring Terry Farrell:

    http://www.mainstreetmallonline.com/fanstuff/members/naturesjoy/listings/060711MSMO2.jpg

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  12. There are still parts of North Carolina, as you can imagine, where NOT smoking is almost illegal! Restaurants, offices, etc..!

    Al Bigley

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  13. The tall blonde in the middle of the "Miss Mureil" add I think is Susan Anton.

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  14. I think if I was of age back then, I would have taken up smoking Manikin Cigars just because of that ad. In the Camel Filters ad, the guy standing on the steps looks like Gil Gerard of the old Buck Rogers TV show...

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  15. Cigarette guy number one has more than a touch of Young Dan Aykroyd there.

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  16. AnonymousJune 07, 2015

    The guy in ad #2 looks like a younger Fred Williard

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