Cultural Jam: Marlboro

Original Ad

Marlboro Man Original Advertisement

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This earlier Marlboro advertisement is one of Marlboro’s most powerful advertisements, which shows a cowboy smoking a cigarette. This ‘Marlboro man’ is a powerful figure to Marlboro, which they have been using even until today. Not only that this advertisement promotes a social effect that cigarettes make one feel more masculine. The use of this figure indicates the concept of manliness and that the brand is for strong and independent men. This powerful figure creates an association to the consumers that every time they think of Marlboro, they think of masculinity, which further emphasizes on this social movement of smoking cigarettes to earn masculinity. Hence, this persuades more people to smoke in order to gain this social status. Because this social status is implemented at the core of the consumers’ mindset than the side effects of smoking, they tend to prioritize smoking over their health. The text at the bottom does indicate the side effects that one can get from smoking cigarettes (such as getting lung cancer, shortness of breath, or heart diseases), it’s not significant enough that consumers are willing to look at the description. Thus, I believe this ad are promoting more of a social status that they want people to perceive (smoking will make one feel more masculine), rather than the health effects associated with it.
Jammed Ad
With the new advertisement, I decided to keep the Marlboro man because it’s a very powerful figure. Without a doubt, consumers will look at the cowboy and think of Marlboro right away because of the strong association consumers have with the brand. To address the issue concerning social status, I believe that using the Marlboro man will appeal to more consumers and hence this new advertisement will show the side effects one has with smoking cigarettes.
What’s different from my advertisement is how I wanted to have the lungs added right below the Marlboro man to indicate the major side effect that one has with smoking cigarettes, which is lung cancer. I used contrasting colours to make the lungs more appealing to consumers, and I used the colour dark grey to indicate power (keeping the association that Marlboro wanted from the Marlboro man), and death (which is the long-term effect of smoking cigarettes). Furthermore, I put a cigarette joint as the bones that put the lungs together to show how people become too reliant on cigarettes, and how smoking has a direct effect on one’s lungs. I decided to put the end of the joint inside the lungs, and the smoke that it produce starts to fill up the lungs little by little, where the smoke indicates how our lungs can get destroyed by the chemicals inside the cigarette smoke. I put the Marlboro man in the back of the smoke to further emphasize how reliant consumers are to cigarettes and how we can ‘sink into the smoke that we inhale in.’ I also kept the general warning of smoking so consumers are aware of the side effects of smoking, and I put it against a dark background so it becomes more appealing and eye-catching to consumers.

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