During the early 1950’s there were six filter cigarettes on the market: Winston, Kent, L&M, Viceroy, Tareyton and Parliament. Many American men considered filter tips effeminate, and together, these six brands totaled just 10% of all cigarette sales. Philip Morris had been making their non-filter tipped "Mild as May" Marlboro since 1924. The brand name had been picked from early trademarks that the original English firm had registered. Marlborough and Poland streets was the location of the first Philip Morris factory in London. In 1936 a red ‘beauty’ tip, meant to hide those tell tale lip stick smears, was added to the line. This "beauty tip" line extension was advertised with the slogan: "to match your lips and fingertips." Men thought Marlboro a brand for women or sissies, and in 1954 sales were less than one quarter of one percent–a brand with a dim future. With little to lose, Philip Morris decided to name a new filter tip cigarette Marlboro. Beginning May 1954, Marlboro with a recessed "selectrate filter" was test-marketed in Texas.
Cecil & Presbrey, a small advertising agency who’s main asset seems to have been the Marlboro account supervisor, who just happened to be the son of the Chairman of the Board of Philip Morris, was responsible for the initial Texas newspaper ads. Packaging was the new crush proof flip-top box, which looked pretty much like it does today, except that a solid red color wasn’t used. Leo Burnett was the head of the advertising agency that was awarded the Marlboro account in November 1954, and he thought that the red and white stripes looked pink, and that the pack had an effete look. At Burnett’s request, Philip Morris switched to a solid red chevron. Burnett had asked his employees to identify a masculine image, and one of his copy writers suggested a cowboy. A stock photo of a cowboy was dug out of their files, and the phrase "Delivers the goods on flavor" added. This first Marlboro Man ad was used in the Dallas/Fort Worth test beginning January 1955. Burnett decided that men other than cowboys, men who were tough but with a polished air about them, could also be rugged Marlboro Men. With a simple military tattoo inked onto the back of his hand, the hunter, gardener, sailor or pilot became Marlboro Men. The tattoo supposedly signifying an adventurous past, became the Marlboro Man’s signature until replaced by a "Marlboro Country" cowboy in 1962. The Magnificent Seven movie music you are listening to was sequenced by Mr. Gary Wachtel. Philip Morris purchased the rights to Elmer Bernstein’s classic movie soundtrack, The Magnificent Seven, in 1963. This superb Academy Award nominated score was then used as background music for their Marlboro TV commercials. Jingles plus the music from the Magnificent Seven .
Marlboro-You get a lot to like 1955-1962.
The first Marlboro Men weren’t professional models, just good looking guys. These men came from all walks of life—garage mechanics to white collar businessmen. Each had one thing in common: they were tough looking with a worldly, successful air about them. The first was a US Navy Lieutenant. Later, advertising executive Leo Burnett’s own art director was used. However, the most successful were pilots. Little wrinkles around a pilot’s eyes made them particularly appealing to both men and women. The newspaper ads produced by Leo Burnett for the Texas test were also used when Marlboro began to go national. The advertising campaign opened in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The Marlboro Man took New York by storm, and Marlboro quickly became the number one selling filter tip cigarette there. Sales went from the 18 million Marlboros sold in 1954, to 6.4 billion in 1955.
Lady Marlboro 1957-1963.Beginning with his first cowboy ad in January 1955, advertising executive Leo Burnett gave Marlboro Filters an exclusively male personality. Positioning the new brand to appeal to just one half of the smoking population was considered risky. As it turned out, though, this was the right decision. Marlboro sales for 1957 were 19.5 billion cigarettes, up from almost nothing in 1954. However, sales slowed in 1958 because of an anti-smoking article published in Readers
This article was the first public documentation of just how bad cigarettes were for the smoker’s health, and how ineffective most filters were. The Kent Cigarette is a high filtration brand, and the only cigarette Readers Digest felt had a worthwhile filter. Kent sales rose dramaticly, while Marlboro sales leveled off at 20.7 billion cigarettes. Philip Morris executives decided to keep Marlboro filters a full-flavor brand, but did improve the filter. Another change was that Leo Burnett was allowed to produce TV commercials featuring Julie London singing "You get a lot to like with a Marlboro," and a few magazine ads picturing women in Marlboro country.
D. W. Lights up Marlboro Country 1970’s.