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Marketing Tobacco and the USA



American Legend - Roland Shuperka, For a Tobacco Free Albania (August 2000)

Dallas - Cigarette packaging (1998)

Czech Republic
Great American Super Light Taste - A giant pack of Philip Morris cigarettes merges with the lit night skyline of New York City. Features twin towers of World Trade Center.
An American truckstop - L & M "Quality American Flavor"
West - Three young Americans rock and roll in an elevator marked "This is not a passenger elevator." The woman is wearing a button with Oliver North on it (infamous for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal). Slogan (in English): The Taste of Now
Golden American Lights (Side 2) - Picture of NYC's Twin Towers. Trips to NYC, San Francisco, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Disney World
Hollywood - GO FOR IT. American Blend
Choose Your Trail (third front section)- Marlboro sweepstakes give applicants a chance to win adventure sports trips to the U.S.
N.Y.C (Norman Young Co.) - "And the Legend Became Flavor" and stars and stripes
American diner - L & M "What a feeling" (from German publication)
- Drahoslava Hruba, Masaryk University Faculty of Medicine "Especially our children and young people believe, that smoking is the normal part of an Americal life style" (March 2002)
Lucky Strike - I choose - "It was an ordinary day. She wore an ordinary hat. Something was very different..." - Eva Kralikova, Charles University (June 2002)
" In my country, the Marlboro man is everywhere. This advertising has been so effective that, in the Czech Republic, the slang term for a cigarette is “amerika,” as in “give me an amerika.”"
- Eva Kralikova, Charles University (in remarks to 2002 Philip Morris Annual Meeting of Stockholders)
"I choose an American Original" - Amy Rand, Reality Check, Tompkins County, USA - NY (April 2002)

L&M:"American Blend" - Newspaper insert. "American" models & a pink cowgirl hat - Revaz Tataradze, Georgian Medical Association (2001)
American Dream - Plastic bag. Symbol is a Statue of Liberty - Khatuna Doliashvili, Georgian Medical Association (January 2001)
Buttes & Marlboro - Billboard - Khatuna Doliashvili, Georgian Medical Association (January 2001)

New York Party Arena - Pall Mall advertising in Hungary, complete with Statue of Liberty - Lisa Houston, Peace Corps Volunteer (September 2001)
West - Cheerleaders with pom poms - quintessential "American" - Tibor Szilagyi, Health 21 Hungarian Foundation

Kansas – "American Blend" - Doug Blanke, Tobacco Law Project, William Mitchell College of Law, USA
Taste the Freedom - Kansas billboard showing a sunset and the open road

"Spirit of the USA" - This Winston ad came from a Philippine Airlines in-flight magazine. American football also isn't popular in the Philippines - Yul Dorotheo, FCTC Alliance, Philippines (March 2002)
"An American Original" - This Lucky Strike ad was a two-thirds page ad in a national daily (Current exchange rate is about PhP 51 = US$ 1). - Yul Dorotheo, FCTC Alliance, Philippines (March 2002)

Statue of Liberty - New York City's icon holding pack of "Winchester" cigarettes instead of tablet - Katarzyna Stanclik (Newspaper: Gazeta Telewizyjna, October 20-26, 2000) [Source: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Ad Gallery]

Houston – "USAuthentic." African-American couple smoking in their red sports convertible with Houston skyline in background - Medard Bassene, Mouvement Anti-Tabac – Senegal (2000)
"The Real American Taste" - L & M billboard with three white people, red, white & blue color scheme, skyrises and image of American flag in background (1996)
Marlboro & Arches National Monument, Utah (1998)
Man wearing L & M hat – Red, white & blue, complete with U.S. stars and stripes (1998)
L & M poster with NYC skyline – Shows five white Americans smoking and enjoying life in their red sports convertible. Win a trip to New York, Las Vegas or San Francisco, or a starred and striped red, white, and blue watch, t-shirt, or hat. (1998)
L & M poster with Chicago Skyline – "America, here I come!" Shows young white couple sitting on a red motorcycle. (1998)
Nelson – This brand was marketed before Nelson Mandela was released from prison. The brand’s logo is a Statue of Liberty (1998)
"Made in the USA!" (1996)
In 1998 Philip Morris removed all its advertising in Senegal during a visit by the U.S. President to the country. For more details see:

I choose - An American Original: Lucky Strikes - Anjelka Dzeletovic, Institute of Public Health of Serbia (March 2002)


Hong Kong
Manhattan - Philip Morris marketing survey (1998)
Manhattan tracking study - Associated with: "American cigarette," " big city," "tall and big building, " American Blue." - Philip Morris Asia

Latin America
California - design for packet

West Africa

Chesterfield - West Africa - Excerpt: "As a result of the advertising concept test carried out in June this year, the most positive element of our communication is "AMERICA". America is a bit of dream, it is a country appealing to our target audience providing that we use a simple and clear way to communicate this. The lifestyle of young Americans will also attract our potential consumers providing that the people featured are simple, and aspirational to Africans through their manner of dress and leisure activities. On top of that, America is synonymous with good quality products." [pdf]

Chesterfield – West Africa Launch Excerpt: "Activities must be: Comprehensible, Aspiration, American, Powerful…Tagline: ‘The Great American Taste’" [Note: Philip Morris now uses one of the French translations "Le Vrai Goût Américain" to market it’s L & M brand in Sénégal] [ pdf ]


Interestingly, focus groups with American youth by RJR Reynolds in 1983 found that connecting American themes to cigarettes was not popular. See: [doc-alert] Qualitative study on YAX ads- September 17, 2001. Excerpt: "...when viewing a cigarette ad that had the word "America" in the headline, several respondents pointed out that "It is not appropriate to sell America when selling cigarettes," because "It is too nationalistic," "America is not that great," and "It is not appropriate to sell America when selling cigarettes, or at least not in such a directly nationalistic way."


Cross-Country Attraction as a Motivation for Product Consumption by Marvin E. Goldberg and Hans Baumgartner, Smeal College of Business Administration, Penn State University. Excerpt: "...The results of this study suggest an affective process in which smoking is seen as part of an attractive American lifestyle. Thai teenagers who are attracted to the U.S. relative to other countries as a place they would like to live, are more likely to smoke and if they smoke, they are more likely to smoke the American brand, Marlboro. Exposure to American movies is related to heightened levels of smoking-related behaviors and to a heightened attraction to America. Those who both select the U.S. and overestimate the number of their peers who smoke in the U.S. are still more likely to engage in smoking-related behaviors. Marlboro advertising appears to be dominant in terms of reach and effectiveness. While none of these relationships are necessarily causal, the pattern is suggestive of emulation of the U.S. as a motivating factor in moving Thai teenagers to smoke." The study concludes that the data "suggest that an intervention that would effectively convince the 30% [of Thai youth] who are attracted to the U.S. tat most Americans their age don't smoke, could reduce the incidence of smoking by as much as 10%, or by 3% overall."


Smoking the Great Outdoors
With the Marlboro Man leading the way, our wilderness is being tamed, once and for all.
by Tom Washington, February 6, 2001

Essential Action
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control

P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176
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