Marlboro Country Advertising Image
YAM Smokers of Marlboro Red
(Excerpts from Marlboro Marketing Mix Monitor Qualitative, 1995)
First, as a reminder; to measure imagery conveyed by Marlboro Country advertising, we asked projective questions
???‚¬?? Stimulus: Entire 1994 Marlboro Mainline pool book
???‚¬?ˆ? We asked respondents to flip through the pool book quickly as a reminder
Marlboro Country Advertising Image-Objectives
Now, for context, Marlboro Country advertising objective is:
???‚¬?? To convey to smokers that Marlboro is the definitive masculine, highest quality, most flavorful cigarette
???‚¬?? Worth paying the premium price it commands through communication of enduring core values:
???‚¬?ˆ? Freedom, adventure, limitless opportunities, self confidence, self sufficiency, mastery of destiny, and harmony with nature
???‚¬?ˆ? And, depicting Marlboro Country as a place and state of mind where you are who you choose to be, command your own destiny, and do what others only dream about
Marlboro Country Advertising Image
Marlboro Advertising conveys the image of a Hero who shares traits in common with many of the archetype heroes of American culture:
So what exactly is a Hero?
"The usual hero feels there's something facing in normal experiences. This person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary (which require him) to evolve to the courage of self-responsibility and assurance. The trials are designed to see to it that the intending hero should be really a hero. Is he realty a match for this task? Can he overcome the dangers? (Does he have the courage, the knowledge, the capacity???‚¬?¦?"
???‚¬?ˆ?Joseph Campbell, 1986
The Marlboro Cowboy has been described as the quintessential American hero
???‚¬?? By observers of modern culture
???‚¬?? By young adult male Marlboro Red smokers in the past and today
"Consider what America has given to the world and you come, sooner or later, to the cowboy. Love of freedom, individualism, restlessness, enterprise; impatience with the past, eagerness for the way forward; the culture of rights, claims and entitlements; and, on the most mundane level, hamburgers and blue jeans, Not entirely to their own disappointment, Americans realize that their image in most of the world is less Jefferson or Lincoln than the Marlboro Man. "
???‚¬?ˆ? The Economist, 1994
Here's how YAM Marlboro smokers described the Marlboro Man in past research
"The Marlboro Man could do no wrong. He was the epitome...
He was the man who could walk in and every girt would fall in love with him...
The was rugged and at the same time he was compassionate...
The Marlboro Man was everything that you could possibly think of that you could want in a human being."
Here's how this YAMS sample described imagery conveyed by Marlboro Country Advertising:
A smoker who is rugged/well-built, casually dressed, in his late 20s or early 30s
His rugged masculinity is reflected in the outdoor work he chooses
???‚¬?? Ranch or construction jobs ???‚¬?ˆ? "real work"
???‚¬?? He is entrepreneurial ???‚¬?ˆ? the man in charge
"He may be the boss, but he does no less work than the next guy. He does more. He's not afraid to get dirty."
"He's an architect, but he started out wording with his hands as a carpenter???‚¬?ˆ? he got tired of budding someone else's dream ???‚¬?ˆ? he knew he could open his own business and be honest ???‚¬?ˆ? keep his word."
The traits reflected in his work are mirrored in his lifestyle
???‚¬?? He tends to live in the country ???‚¬?ˆ? literally away from it all
???‚¬?ˆ? A fantasy for many YAM Marlboro Red smokers
???‚¬?? He appreciates nature
"He's just a total wilderness kind of guy ???‚¬?ˆ? He appreciates the beauty of the mountains."
"He likes nature. He loves everything about it. He tikes to hike through the woods and look at beautiful scenery."
He likes the simple things
???‚¬?? Not materialistic
???‚¬?? Not out to impress
"He knows what he wants, where he's at, what he wants to be. He doesn't need six cars, a mansion and dinner parties."
"He's not flamboyant, he's down to earth ???‚¬?ˆ? not concerned with material things."
Further, he defines what it means to be fiercely independent...he personifies "rugged individualism"
He calls his own shots...he's self-directed...he is the master of his destiny
"He fives life as He chooses."
"He does what he wants, when he wants."
"He's in control of his fife ???‚¬?ˆ? he's his own boss."
"He doesn't follow anybody, always a leader, never a follower."
He's clearly self-sufficient
"He's not dependent on anyone ???‚¬?ˆ? he's self-made."
"He's the one in control. He's not dependent on others. He's independent, he can make it on his own, doesn't have to rely on others."
He's free...unconfined, unconstrained...his life is adventure...
"He values nis freedom."
"He has no rules, no schedule, no routine."
"Always on the move."
"He's an exciting person... always up for something new."
"He's daring, out of the ordinary. He puts himself on the line. He doesn't get his fun from average things."
"He won't be restrained or held back."
Importantly, what makes him complete is that underneath all of this, he is an honorable man
"He's caring. He has values and the courage to do the right thing. He has a Cot of feeling for other people. He would put his life on the line for somebody."
"It's important to him to do the right thing ???‚¬?ˆ? not hurting anyone, not back-stabbing. He's honest, he's someone you could trust."
He's a true friend ~ someone you can count on ~ no matter what
"He'd always be on your side. He'd be there when you need him."
"He'd be a good friend His values are in place. He's honest. He's his own person. He'd always be there."
And no matter where he goes he stands apart -he's the strong, silent, quietly confident type
"He's one of those guys people turn and look at when he walks into a bar. It's tike he's confident about himself. He's walking on air"
"He doesn't see himself as the center of attention, but that in itself makes him standout."
Who has an aura of incredible magnetism...
"Women look at him and say he's suave, he's sophisticated, he s a challenge. He's mysterious. He's a wild horse. It's hard to put a rope around him. Women can't have him, so they want him even more."
"Women find him sexy. He has this attraction. There's something about him that's so discreet that it keeps women in suspense. They wonder why he's such a mystery, what he's all about. He's cool"
While the Marlboro Man draws YAMS in, some find him hard to read
"He's hard to talk to...it's hard to get a sense of how he's feeling."
"He's quiet, doesn't volunteer information."
"He's slightly withdrawn, calm, watching everybody else. He's always noticed. He's a little bit mysterious."
Net, to YAMS, Marlboro Country advertising is extremely compelling ???‚¬?ˆ? provides a powerful summation of their own ideal values
???‚¬?? Being in charge of your own destiny
???‚¬?? Pursuing the challenge and the thrill of the endless frontier
???‚¬?? Putting yourself on the line for what's right
???‚¬?ˆ? And being tough enough to stand up to whatever comes at you
"It's the American tradition of independence, self-reliance, rugged individualism."
"It hits on the fantasy of being a cowboy...what a lot of guys want to be...real manly...rugged."
"The Marlboro Man is what a lot of men want to be ???‚¬?ˆ? that fantasy. People in an office see an ad and want to be out on the range ???‚¬?ˆ? it's freedom ???‚¬?ˆ? open to do what you want to do ???‚¬?ˆ? no crap from anyone."