Updated: Apr 5
Lucky Strike. Tobacco Lucky
The history of the Lucky Strike brand began in the 19th century. In the famous "tobacco" state of Virginia in 1871, R.A. Patterson registered it for sale ... no, not cigarettes, they will generally be invented a little later. Initially, under the brand name "Lucky Hit" (namely, this is how the name Lucky Strike is translated), pressed tobacco was produced and sold to the population. However, for a long time this brand did not stand out for anything special and was only one of many in the United States.
Everything changed when the American Tobacco Company decided to buy Lucky Strike in 1905. Not just to buy, but also to earn on the "Hit". Marketers have relied on a sonorous name that is fully consistent with the spirit of the times, but what is there, the American dream itself. One successful investment could bring millions of greenbacks. And the ability to seize the moment and rely on luck was valued more than deep knowledge and practical experience. The consumer immediately noted the new brand, but the real explosion was ahead.
Although the history of well-known tobacco brands is always a history of deceit and advertising, the triumphant march of Lucky Strike began with cutting-edge technology. In 1916, the brand began producing cigarettes, and a year later, wanting to get ahead of the competition, they applied a truly innovative method of preparing tobacco. While others dried tobacco leaves in the sun, Lucky Strike manufacturers went further and started roasting them. Due to toasterization (that's exactly what this process was called), a caramelization reaction took place in the leaves. Thanks to the latter, tobacco not only turned out to be more fragrant, but also acquired a chocolate and coffee taste.
Cigarettes labeled "It's Toasted" quickly began to crowd out the competition. Many tobacco manufacturers immediately began to experiment with drying modes. So, it was necessary to look for new ways to promote the product. In addition, before the eyes of manufacturers was the success of such a brand as Camel. But the "camels" achieved success only due to an unusual advertising campaign. Useful experience decided to adopt.
Since the male market was very competitive, it was decided to "work" with women. For the design of the Lucky Strike cardboard pack, the green color popular with American women was specially chosen. In advertising products, the female star cast of Hollywood was actively used. And in 1929, the manufacturers of Lucky Strike even organized the feminist parade "Torch of Freedom", during which women marched through the central streets of New York, proudly holding green packs of these cigarettes above their heads.
All this quickly brought results. Lucky Strike pulled ahead, leaving behind even such a monster of the tobacco industry as Camel, and taking almost 40% of the American market. Having planted women on nicotine, the owners of Lucky Hit were not going to stop. They ran a very wild advertising campaign, during which doctors bribed for five blocks of cigarettes "documented" the health benefits of Lucky Strike.
Under the roar of cannonade
War has always been the best time to promote soft drugs like alcohol and tobacco. Therefore, when World War II rumbled across Europe, and American soldiers went overseas, Lucky Strike was right there. To stand out among other brands, manufacturers even changed the design of the pack. Instead of a green scale, a red-white one appeared. For such a rebranding, they immediately came up with a patriotic explanation. The manufacturers of Lucky Strike claimed they changed the color because the green paint contains copper, a metal that the military needs. idiotic explanation? Undoubtedly. But it worked. Moreover, it allowed to reduce production costs. After all, extra color is extra money.
However, this was the last powerful advertising success of the brand. Despite the fact that in the early 60s Lucky Strike was persistently promoted with the help of television shows and radio programs, the popularity of these cigarettes was falling. Owners and marketers missed the massive switch to filter cigarettes. Despite the fact that the brand, as before, was focused on women, filters on Lucky Strike appeared only in the mid-60s. Because of this, most of the target audience preferred cigarettes from other manufacturers. And in the new century, the production of Lucky Strike in the United States was generally curtailed. However, British American Tobacco continues to promote the brand. But neither experiments with the color of the packaging, nor innovations in the design of the pack helped revive Lucky Strike.