An astoundingly odd cinematic cigarette commercial from 1977

I can imagine the first brainstorm: "What if the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey was actually a massive pack of cigarettes? And they found it at the bottom of the ocean?" Here's the actual back story according to Big Dog Media Productions:

When health warnings first appeared on packets in 1971 and the rules for cigarette advertising rules were changed, tobacco companies were faced with the challenge of maintaining brand awareness and driving sales in a market made more aware of the risks than ever before.

The change in rules, coupled with a fresh approach to advertising in general, gave birth to a unique genre of advertising that neatly ticked the boxes of the rule book yet created an art form. As with Surrealist art, these ads aimed to surprise and intrigue the viewer by replacing the objects people expected to see in a particular scene with something incongruous – in this case, a packet of cigarettes.

Collett Dickenson Pearce was tasked with the advertising for Benson & Hedges in 1973....

The story goes that Frank Lowe, Managing Director at CDP in 1977, had two finished campaigns to present. After much debate, he took both campaigns to CDP’s Creative Director, Colin Millward, and asked him his view.

Colin said “…one will let you sleep at night, the other will make you famous.”

(via r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!) Read the rest

Gentleman smokes 75-year-old cigarette from military rations

Military ration historian Steve1989 cracked open a real gem: a 1942 World War II K Ration by Doughboy Mills, which contained a package of Chelsea cigarettes. Read the rest

Model on anti-smoking bus shelter ad coughs when smokers walk by

If you walk past this bus shelter ad in Stockholm while smoking, the model on the screen starts to cough. Next, the display shows smoking cessation products sold by pharmacy chain Apotek Hjartat, the sponsor of the ad. From CNN:

Akestam Holst, the agency behind the campaign, created the effect by attaching smoke detectors to the digital advertising screen. They chose a location where people often smoke -- Stockholm's Odenplan square -- and let the coughing begin.

The agency filmed the reactions of smokers -- some express surprise, others react with laughter.

Read the rest

Candy cigarettes, the best worst thing since Jarts

Stanford historian Robert Proctor amassed a remarkable collection of candy cigarette packaging in Golden Holocaust, like this candy cig marketed as "Just Like Daddy!" Yes, they were evil, but sometimes the best things in life are. Read the rest

Zateeva brand cigarettes: smelled and tasted like marijuana

If you were a head in 1974 who happened to enjoy the smell and taste of smoking marijuana but didn't want to get high or busted by the fuzz, or you simply wanted to prank the police, you could light up a Zateeva cigarette! From the April 20 (4/20!), 1974 edition of Florida Today:

The pack of Zateeva says it's "An exclusive smoke that captures the heady flavor and grass-like aroma of Cannabis Sativa. All natural ingredients, non-psychoactive, no tobacco or nicotine..."

"I never heard of it before. If it's a drug that's a close likeness of marijuana, it could pose problems," said Inspector Theo York, commander of the sheriff's headquarters squad.

"It is a problem for law enforcement officers, in that we have to know or be pretty well sure that the substance we have to make an arrest for contains an illegal drug."

More at Weird Universe: "Zateeva Smokes" Read the rest

World's "ugliest color" will be used on cigarette packs

According to an Australian survey, the shit brown color seen above (Pantone 448C, or "Opaque Couché") is the ugliest hue around, reminding respondents of dirt and death. To deter smoking, Australian officials required Opaque Couché to be the main color and cigarette packages and now the UK is following suit. Apparently, Australian officials first referred to the color as "olive green" but the Australian Olive Association was none-too-pleased. Now, Pantone is grumpy about the choice of Opaque Couché.

"At the Pantone Color Institute, we consider all colours equally,” Pantone's exec director Leatrice Eiseman told The Guardian. "(There's no such thing as the ugliest color."

The new UK regulations also ban the use of logos, requiring a plain font on the packs.

More at Smithsonian: "The World’s "Ugliest" Color Could Help People Quit Smoking" Read the rest

Australian cigarette packages show gruesome disease symptoms

It looks like the Australian government hired rotten.com to design their cigarette packages. [image NSFL] Read the rest

Woman busts husband smoking in Google Street View image

After Donald Ryding, 58, suffered a heart attack, he told his wife Julie that he had quit smoking. He was proven a fibber though when Julie saw a Google Street View image of Donald sneaking a puff on their of their driveway in Merseyside, England. Read the rest

Vintage Soviet space program cigarette packages

The Soviet space program inspired some of the great space-themed tchotchkes of the 20th century, including a whole line of cigarette packs from Russia and surrounding nations. Read the rest

When Daleks pushed cigarettes to kids

Betcha didn't know that the Daleks featured in a series of TV and print ads that appeared in the likes of Children's Dalek Annual 1978.

Old cig ad: What to smoke when you're expecting

One more M-Day Vintage Ad: a Philip Morris piece from a 1956 Saturday Evening Post celebrating its new packaging by inviting an association between cuddling a newborn and smoking.

There's a good case to be made for tobacco companies as the original sinners of corporatism, with their development of this kind of advertising, not to mention their key contributions to self-serving junk science. There's a (dotted, convoluted) line joining up the MMR scare, climate denialism, and this industry's Mad Men, sentimental illustrators, and tame scientists.

In earlier days... Read the rest

When Listerine made cigarettes

A long-lost brand, and singularly odd one. Like discovering Spicy Cajun Visine Hot Sauce lurking in the product's history.

listerine cigarettes..... Read the rest