Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
Lucky Strike GreenIn 1942, smokers of Lucky Strike Cigarettes noticed a drastic change to the Lucky Strike packs. Instead of the usual dark green and gold, the packs were white with red trim. On the bottom of the new packs was a curious abbreviation, "L.S./M.F.T." The reason for the change was heard on the radio commercials for Lucky Strike.
Like with many other products during World War II, the Lucky Strike radio commercials had a patriotic theme. The radio listeners heard the announcer say, "Lucky Strike Green Has Gone To War." What he meant, the green dye used for the packaging of the Lucky Strike packs would be used for the war effort. The phrase was heard frequently on all programs Lucky Strike sponsored at that time. Unfortunately, it also stirred up a hornet’s nest with one program.
When Lucky Strike sponsored INFORMATION PLEASE (1940-1943), it was a marriage that was made in a lower place than Heaven. From the very beginning, it was a battle between 2 strong willed men, George Washington Hill, the big cheese of the American Tobacco Company, and Dan Golenpaul, the creator of INFORMATION PLEASE. While this relationship was stormy, it took the infamous Lucky Strike Green Has Gone To War phrase to really stir up trouble.
Lucky Strike Presents Information PleaseDuring a typical broadcast of INFORMATION PLEASE, the phrase was uttered or whispered at every opportunity it could be said--- even during the program! When there was a brief pause in the conversation between M.C. Clifton Fadiman and the program’s panelists, the phrase was presented. Not only did this prove to be a distraction with the radio listeners, it also made Golenpaul furious. With the concern of ruining the program, Golenpaul asked Hill to drop the constant presentation of the phrase. Hill refused. The bitter sponsor/program relationship would eventually go to court. It was a well-publicized event. Public opinion had Golenpaul as the good guy and Hill as the villain. The case was dismissed, but the stormy program/sponsor relationship came to a merciful end. Golenpaul was finally rid of Hill, Lucky Strike, and the annoying phrase.
Lucky Strike Green Has Gone To War not only rubbed Golenpaul the wrong way, it also grated the nerves of the people who mattered the most--- the radio listeners. In a 1943 poll conducted in Woman’s Day magazine, Lucky Strike Green Has Gone To War was voted one of the most disliked radio commercials by the listeners who participated.
Lucky Strike LS/MFT After Hill thought it served its purpose, Lucky Strike Green Has Gone To War passed into radio advertising oblivion--- much to the relief of the listeners. With L.S./M.F.T. becoming the catch phrase, the Lucky Strike commercials continued the tradition as a source of unpopularity with the listeners. (For the record, L.S./M.F.T. was also voted unpopular in the Woman’s Day poll).
On paper, Lucky Strike Green Has Gone To War appeared to be a patriotic gesture to help the Allies. The truth to the matter was that Hill intended to change and modernize the Lucky Strike packs anyway. It just so happened World War II was in progress--- and the "sacrifice" of the green dye made the American Tobacco Company look good with the public.
Courtesy -- Old Time Commercials
Saturday, August 25, 2007
One of the early years' animated ads.
LS/MFT stands for Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco. That's as cool as it gets now!
In 1935, ATC began to sponsor Your Hit Parade, featuring North Carolina tobacco auctioneer Speed Riggs. The weekly radio show's countdown catapulted the brand's success and would remain popular for 25 years. The shows capitalized on the tobacco auction theme and each ended with the signature phrase "Sold, American".
The brand's signature dark green pack was changed to white in 1942. In a famous advertising campaign that used the slogan "Lucky Strike Green has gone to war", the company claimed the change was made because the copper used in the green color was needed for World War II. American Tobacco actually used chromium to produce the green ink, and copper to produce the gold-colored trim. A limited supply of each was available, and substitute materials made the package look drab. However, many argue that the white package was introduced not to help the war effort but to lower costs and to increase the appeal of packaging among female smokers.
In the early 1960s, Lucky Strike's television commercials featured the slogan "Lucky Strike separates the men from the boys....but not from the girls" set to music. When Luckies with filters were introduced in the mid-1960s, print and TV ads featured the slogan "Show me a filter cigarette that delivers the taste, and I'll eat my hat!" (usually sung to music on TV). Print ads showed smokers wearing hats from which a "bite" was supposedly taken, whereas TV commercials broke away from the smoker who issued that challenge, then came back to show the same smoker wearing a hat from which a "bite" was taken.
In 1978 and 1994, export rights and U.S. rights were purchased by Brown & Williamson. In 1996, filtered styles were launched in San Francisco, but it was not until 1999 that they were available all over the United States. This cigarette is made with Turkish tobaccos.
The Lucky Strike logo was created by famous industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who also created the logos for Exxon, Shell, AT&T and Coca Cola. The logo later became a prominent fixture in Pop-era artist Ray Johnson's collages.
Lucky Strike was the sponsor of Jack Benny's radio and television programs in the 1940s and 1950s on CBS. (Among its popular advertising slogans on the show, as read by announcer Don Wilson, were "LSMFT: Lucky Strike means fine tobacco!" and "Be happy go lucky, be happy, smoke Lucky Strike!") The fictional character Mike Hammer, as written by Mickey Spillaine, smoked Lucky Strike through all of the Hammer novels. Lucky Strike was also the major sponsor of the BAR Honda team (partly owned by British American Tobacco current owners of the brand) as well as Honda Racing F1 during their maiden year in Formula One before BAT decided to pull out of F1 altogether in the face of increasing anti-tobacco advertising legislation. The cigarette brand is patronized in the anime Cowboy Bebop, where character Faye Valentine is often seen with one in her mouth. The logo also makes prominent background appearances in that show. Lucky strikes were mentioned in ZZ Top's song "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide", and in rodney adkins song "These are my People". They are also mentioned in Stars (band)' song "Life 2: the Unhappy Ending," where the hero "removes the Lucky from the pack." Lucky strikes were also the cigarette of choice of Rep. Detect. Steele in the Blade Runner video game. As well as in the stealth-based video games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake; Solid Snake's favorite brand of cigarettes are Luckys. Lucky Strike cigarettes were also featured in the Stephen King movie Misery where Paul Sheldon (James Caan) would smoke one cigarette after writing a novel. The character Sonny Crockett from the TV series Miami Vice, smokes Lucky Strikes and In the manga GTO, The teacher is seen smoking Lucky Strikes.
In 2007 the Lucky Strike brand was featured as a subplot in the first episode of Mad Men, an American television drama about New York Madison Avenue advertising executives set in the early 1960s. An advertising executive struggles to come up with a new advertising campaign under the new stringent United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations about cigarette companies making health and safety claims about their tobacco products. He eventually comes up with the catch slogan "It's Toasted", the same slogan that was conceived in real life by Lucky Strike in 1917 but for purposes of dramatic license it is depicted as being created in 1960 to deflect consumer concerns about health issues.
In late 2006 both the Full Flavored and Light filtered varieties of Lucky Strike cigarettes were discontinued in North America. However, Lucky Strike will continue to have marketing and distribution support in territories controlled by British American Tobacco as a global drive brand.