Vintage, „Lucky Strike“ and 1920’s design

Historic Cigarette AD

Newest trends announce that smoking is not really hip at the moment – time for bicycles and healthy life­style! These trends def­in­itely wouldn’t be sat­is­fy­ing for a typ­ical American from 1920. Doctors recom­mend smoking because it provides one with energy, helps to stay slender and cure neur­otic ill­nesses as well as simply keeps good mood. And this is only a tiny part of all reas­ons why a pro­cess of smoking seemed so appeal­ing for Americans from 1920 to 1950. Who could res­ist to such a lovely action as smoking? It’s incred­ible and even fas­cin­at­ing to observe this type of com­mer­cials. Generations grew up with these posters and advertisement.

These days, when most com­mer­cials show yel­low teeth, rattle about hum, threaten can­cer and other hor­ri­fy­ing dis­eases, a poster with Santa Claus smoking a cigar­ette looks almost like a par­ody. It’s hard to believe that once this sort of mar­ket­ing was effective!

Historic Cigarette AD

One could die laugh­ing look­ing at the illus­tra­tion on the left where smoking is advert­ised by using a pic­ture of baby – under­ly­ing mean­ing of this poster is that smoking “Marlboro” makes your tiny tot happy! Sport, doc­tors, chil­dren, all objects used for anti-​advertisement cam­paigns nowadays, some time ago had a com­pletely dif­fer­ent implic­a­tion. Still, we need to admit that these retro advert­ise­ments are impel­lent. Smoking appears to be espe­cially romantic, vin­tage col­ors look nos­tal­gic and fanci­ful orna­mental cigar­ette packs impels to scru­tin­ize them care­fully. Layout with cent­ral com­pos­i­tion, reveal­ing stor­ies, eclectic let­ters also draw atten­tion – I would be pleased to see a poster like this today! haha!

Therefore we see, that today not advert­ise­ment but anti-​advertisement is ded­ic­ated to smoking. Statistics show that from 1950 the num­ber of smokers in the world declined, mean­while there’s a clear tend­ency that more and more women smoke and there’s one sur­pris­ing fact – man pretty often quit smoking. I admit that it’s an inter­est­ing social aspect and I’ve noticed this trend as well.

I can­not decide if it’s pos­it­ive or neg­at­ive, how­ever, we live in a demo­cratic soci­ety. In the mean­time, Dr. Jackler who a while ago opened cigar­ette ad (1920−1950) exhib­i­tion in New York ques­tions whether an advert­ise­ment actu­ally changed or not, what was an impact of the pro­pa­ganda for soci­ety back then and how tobacco ads affect us today? Researcher’s mother died from can­cer, she lived in those times when every­body in America used to smoke and it was simply out of fash­ion to be a non-​smoker. That’s one of the reas­ons why Dr. Jackler went deep into research about smoking cul­ture in the former times.

Historic Cigarette AD

Well, prob­ably it’s too late to visit an exhib­i­tion, there­fore I sug­gest you tak­ing a look at few more ironic and amus­ing posters of retro smokers.

Historic Cigarette AD Historic Cigarette AD Historic Cigarette AD
Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
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Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
Gintare Zitkeviciute is Art Pit’s thinker and doer. In her work practise, she values lean approach, creativity and quick decisions. She doesn't like working with random people and thinks that a team is a heart of successful project. For that reason, she carefully picks people she works with on everyday basis. She is mostly interested in innovatio... Read further >
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