Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lucky Strike Ad – Feb. 4, 1930

Feb. 4, 1930 Lorain Journal ad
Lately, the spouse and I have been doing some binge watching of the popular AMC TV series "Mad Men" on weekends, working our way through library DVDs of each season, starting from the beginning.

As devoted fans of the show know, Lucky Strike cigarettes was the biggest account of the both the Cooper Sterling agency and its successor, Cooper Sterling Draper Pryce. Thus, when I ran across the above ad on microfilm, which ran in the Feb. 4, 1930 Lorain Journal, I just had to post it here on the blog. (Click on it for a readable view.)

(I guess Don Draper didn't really come up with that "It's toasted" tagline in the 1960s as shown on the TV show after all, if it was already appearing in ads in the 1930s.)

Anyway, the ad is fairly hilarious, because it basically says that women should "reach for a Lucky" instead of over-indulging – as a way of staying trim. Uh-huh.

Incidentally, while I was at Ohio State majoring in Industrial Design in the late 1970s, one of the famous designers we studied was Raymond Loewy – who, as opposed to Don Draper, really did have some involvement with the Lucky Strike brand. In 1940 Loewy accepted a $50,000 challenge from American Tobacco Company president George Washington Hill to improve the Lucky Strike's green package.

If I remember the story from design school correctly, Loewy tossed a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes on a table, and it landed with the logo side facedown. He reasoned, "Why not put the logo on both sides of the pack to increase visibility? Then he changed the background color from green to white, and an iconic design was born. Sales picked up and Loewy won the bet.

Click here to visit a blog that has a great photo gallery of Lucky Strike packaging old and new.

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