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The super brand Marlboro

The Marlboro cigarettes story began in 1847 and was marketed mainly to women in London. This marketing strategy did not go over so well. In the 1920's, Marlboro cigarettes were then introduced to the American market as the cheap Cigarette of choice for women. It was also advertised as a mild Cigarette.

The Marlboro Cigarette brand never gained sufficient traction amongst smokers and was eventually taken off the market during World War II. Marlboro cigarettes were reintroduced in the 1950's when many consumers began to concern themselves with the health aspects of smoking. At the time, most cigarettes were non-filtered. The Marlboro cigarettes branding position as a women's Cigarette had also been reevaluated and so it was decided to market Marlboro cigarettes at men, rather that women.

The 'tattooed man' campaign got under way in 1955 - the images of a leaner, healthy Marlboro cigarettes smoker and laid-back outdoorsman commenced. Only very masculine men were used in ads to promote Marlboro cigarettes -- often these were Naval officers or cattle ranchers. Following this, in 1954, the cowboy was created and became the most popular Marlboro cigarettes character ever. By 1963, the Marlboro cowboy became the sole character in the selling of Marlboro cigarettes. In 1972, Marlboro cigarettes have become the most popular in the world and have remained in that position for most, if not all, of the time since.

In 1980 in the Superman II film: Lois Lane lights up. In fifty years of comic book appearances, Lois Lane never smoked. For a reported payment of $42,000, the company purchases 22 exposures of the Marlboro logo in the movie featuring the children's comic book hero, and Lois Lane, strong role model for teenage girls, gets a Marlboro pack on her desk and begins chain smoking Marlboro Lights.

At one point in the film, a character is tossed into a van with a large Marlboro sign on its side, and in the climactic scene the superhero battles amid a maze of Marlboro billboards before zooming off in triumph, leaving in his wake a solitary taxi with a Marlboro sign on top. The New York State Journal of Medicine published an article titled "Superman and the Marlboro Woman: The Lungs of Lois Lane." Throughout the 80s, Superman II is frequently re-run on TV in prime time.

The transformation of a brand from a failure and one meant only for women to that of a best selling brand, which stood for male machismo, and ruggedness underlined the resilience of the Marlboro brand.

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The super brand Marlboro

Jenny