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The Marlboro Man Campaign Analysis Essay

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Marlboro is currently one of biggest cigarette distributer in the world. Originally, Marlboro was targeted towards women with the slogan “Mild As May” Campaign until Philip Morris repositioned Marlboro at 1950, with the objective of attracting a wide target audience of American men to save their failing brand. The company began to advertise towards men because they wanted to increase customer while hoping to increase their profits. Therefore, in order to attract their targeted audience, Leo Burnett took the initiative to design the new brand image in which they use an American symbol, the cowboy. The Marlboro Man campaign was not successful merely because of the cigarettes that it advertised but instead, “Marlboro Man” represented the ways in which white males defined their status in American society. The “Marlboro Man” transformed from an advertising campaign to a representation of white American men.

From the Marlboro advertising campaign, which ran from 1954 to 1990, one of the most striking features of this advert is the image of a cowboy. The Marlboro man has become an iconic figure and is associated with a stereotypical rugged outdoor man. This was very effective in terms of generating sells because cowboys are famous for being rugged, cool and tough. Furthermore, most of their targeted customers were men who like to be independent and respected hence resonate well with the used brand image. However, the cowboy image also works well with the second predominant feature of the ad, the slogan "Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro Country." is as if the cowboy is inviting the viewer where he can embrace nature and freedom while escaping stress of a hard life. Also the repetition and the parallel structure of ‘Come t...


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...control of the current lives but wants to experience the nostalgia. The “Marlboro Man” did not advertise a life, which could be achieved or reclaimed, but a life that was forever lost. Therefore, the “Marlboro Man” symbolizes white male who resolve to remain stubborn to the changes in society. The visual images, slogans, the gesture and attire of the cowboy symbols presented in “Marlboro Man” ads were designed for white American men who were losing much of their former power in society which discriminated other races migrating in their country. “Marlboro Man” was not merely trying to sell a cigarette to the targeted audience , but an image of an unrecoverable past, sexism, and racism. Furthermore, When the Marlboro Man was introduced; they were able to fulfill their purpose of increasing their sales as there were many more male customers including teenagers.






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