Marlboro cigarette is a special product that has fascinated millions of smokers worldwide. They are the largest selling cigarette brand in the world. They are produced by Philip Morris USA, which is a branch of Altria Tobacco Company, in USA and by Philip Morris International, a different company, outside America.
Marlboro Man which features in its promotional campaigns is an American icon symbol. The aim of the company is to use the cowboy figure to market Marlboro cigarettes and their selling point is that Marlboro man captures the essence of the ideal American man. The Marlboro Man has appeared on Marlboro cigarette packs for almost fifty years on newspapers, on the pages of magazines, in store window displays, and billboards.
But this was not the case before the Marlboro man showed up. The brand was not always sold using the image of this cowboy feature. In 1920's when Marlboro cigarettes were first introduced they were promoted as women's cigarettes, with the slogan "Mild as May." This approach was successful until World War II (1939-45), when slow sales caused Marlboro packs to be withdrawn from the market. The brand was revived in the 1950's, when the medical report which caused headache to many of the cigarette brands was released. The report linked cigarette smoking with cancer, this sent people into a tizzy, suddenly they became very health conscious. It was thought that Marlboro cigarettes, with their filter, might offer smokers the illusion of a reduced health risk. However, the filter was regarded as effeminate by many men, who made up the bulk of the market.
To find a solution for this problem the company hired a Chicago advertising agency called The Leo Burnett Company. This ad agency was given the task of making Marlboro cigarettes appealing to men. They came up with the tattooed man campaign. It involved a series of print ads showing a man with a tattoo on his hand holding a Marlboro. The man would be one of several manly types, such as a firefighter, policeman, a cowboy or a construction worker. After studying the consumer response the agency shortlisted the cowboy figure which proved to be the most popular. By 1957, the cowboy figure replaced other pictures.