Virginia Slims: Capitalizing on the Essence of Women in a New Era of Equality

In: Social Issues

Submitted By bethanne
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Virginia Slims: Capitalizing on the Essence of Women in a New Era of Equality Taking into consideration the versatility of a woman’s individuality, their need to gain their independence and feel empowered, and equating their struggles and triumphs during a new era of equality, the Phillip Morris Company launched one of the most successful cigarette campaigns in history geared towards the feminist movement that spanned over a 30 year period. This ingenious campaign not managed to interpret feminism into something to sell, but it paved the way for inverted feminine ideology while female consumer simultaneously became enslaved by the very tobacco company that sought to empower them. As the proportion of female smokers soared to 33%, tobacco companies began to see them as means to increase sales. One such company was the Phillip Morris Company. Riding high on a successful campaign strategy that catapulted Marlboro sales to the top, the company sought out the very advertising agency that had engineered that campaign, the Leo Burnett Agency, to conceptualize and market its women’s specific cigarette. The agency drew its inspiration based on the name Virginia (a previous acquisition of Phillip Morris known as Virginia Rounds), and the rising trend of smokers noted moving toward a longer cigarette it had in its arsenal, Silva Thins. Provided with the name, Virginia Slims, Burnett began to work his magic. The most unique part of the process had to be the means in which it was originally marketed. Far before the development of the product ever went to market, Burnett marketed his concept and campaign to the gender specific segment first. The new brand was so successful in the market phase, that marketing was cut short after only a few weeks due to the rapid penetration the brand received. In 1968, armed with the provocative tagline, “You’ve come a long way, baby,” a…...

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