Extrapolate at your own risk

As part of the ongoing process of denouncing David Brooks, Stacy McCain points to a much manlier man:

However much I disagree politically with our Kenyan Marxist progressive president, I’ll grant him this: He smokes Marlboro Reds.

You’ve got to reserve some measure of respect for the daredevil who risks death by firing up a Marlboro Red — a real tough-guy smoke. Marines and truck drivers and Nick Nolte smoke Marlboro Reds.

Take a look at [Michael] Gerson and Brooks and try to picture them puffing Marlboro Reds. You can’t. They don’t have it in them. It would irritate their allergies.

To cloud that picture a bit further, here’s a bit of largely-forgotten history:

In 1924, Philip Morris introduced Marlboro as a women’s cigarette.

A 1927 Marlboro ad published in Vanity Fair Magazine targeted affluent society women with text describing her as, “Women quickly develop discerning taste. That is why Marlboros now ride in so many limousines, attend so many bridge parties, repose in so many hand bags.”

After World War II, the brand was revived, but with a different focus. From CigarettesPedia:

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.

In 1954, the Leo Burnett Company, a Chicago advertising agency, was given the task of making Marlboro cigarettes appealing to men. The result was 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 policeman, a firefighter, a construction worker or a cowboy. The agency studied consumer response, and the cowboy figure proved to be the most popular. By 1957, the cowboy had replaced all of the others.

Still, you probably shouldn’t count on seeing A Pinky to the Right: The David Brooks Story, starring Nick Nolte, at the local dodecaplex.



  1. fillyjonk »

    1 September 2009 · 5:33 pm

    “one of several “manly” types, such as a policeman, a firefighter, a construction worker or a cowboy.”

    Um, yeah. Until the 1970s and the Village People.. (somewhat surprised there’s not an Indian Chief or a sailor in that mix…)

  2. CGHill »

    1 September 2009 · 5:35 pm

    What is advertising, if not manipulation of cliché in an effort to separate you from your dollars?

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