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Marlboro Advertising Campaign, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 541

Essay

The Marlboro’s print ads(Stanford School of Medicine) and the video commercials(YouTube) from the 1950s and 1960s portrayed Marlboro cigarettes as a symbol of masculinity. The print and videos ads showed rugged and masculine cowboys who didn’t only stand out from others because of their lifestyle but also because they smoked Marlboro cigarettes only. The ads tried to convince the readers that Marlboro cigarettes make them look manly. The print and video ads showed cowboys with Marlboro either in their hands or in the mouth. The ads tried to emotionally appeal to the readers and stayed away from rational facts. They focused on psychological and social benefits instead of real benefits.

One could tell the ads primarily targeted men because it only employed male actors and emphasized their manliness. In addition, the ads and videos often focused on activities that have primarily been men’s domain. The makers of Marlboro exploited masculine stereotypes power, mature looks, tough built, adventurous activities, and group bonding because they wanted their product to become an integral part of men’s lifestyle. The ads would depict men who stood out from the crowd or who portrayed a dominant aura. Even though the cowboys came to define the Marlboro brand better than any other character, the ads also portrayed other characters such asbusiness professionals and artists to imply the universal appeal of Marlboro to men.

The ads primarily focused on the characters’ faceswith the exception of cowboy-themed ads in which the characters would be shown in action. The makers of Marlboro wanted to convince the readers that the major common thing among men of adventures and men of achievements was their love for Marlboro. The ads always ensured that the characters oozed glamour or charisma. It is as if the ads would invite the readers to join the ranks of glamorous individuals. Since the ads primarily focused on the characters instead of the scenery or the environment, they did an effective job of communicating the intended message to the readers i.e. Marlboro makes them cool!

The ads primarily focused on psychological needs. People want to look cool and often imitate what they see in the media. In addition, people also want to be perceived as successful and unique. They desire to stand out from the group and appear more attractive to the opposite sex. Marlboro ads understood these needs which is why they often emphasized the glamour of the characters and how they stood out from the group. The ads also portrayed people whose appearance seemed to imply they were successful and had earned the right to enjoy Marlboros. The ads also exploited the stereotypes associated with masculinity so that the Marlboro brand takes on a manly perception.

Marlboro’s advertising campaign in the 50s and the 60s demonstrated the importance and benefits of unique brand positioning. The advertisers tried to understand what made men, men and what psychological benefits may increase the appeal of the product. They kept reinforcing the perceptions that Marlboros were a symbol of masculinity by ensuring that all print commercials and video ads sent a consistent message. They even invented the ‘Marlboro Man’ character to establish the brand’s credibility with the male consumers.

References

Stanford School of Medicine. Marlboro Men. 24 September 2012 <http://tobacco.stanford.edu/tobacco_main/images.php?token2=fm_st085.php>.

YouTube. Marlboro Cigarettes Commercial (1966). 24 September 2012 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQmpqvoEpws>.

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