Wednesday, 8 March 2017


No one can explain the urge of smoking to a non-smoker, people say it is a habit, a pleasure, a disease, an addiction, the truth is that it is different with each person. All that we know for sure is that it is expensive, it is bad for your health, and the one of the people around you, seemingly that does not matter too much for most of the smokers. Last time we talked about the giant in alcohol industry Jack Daniel’s. In this article another huge brand will be under our projectors, it is a cigarettes company. This brand has been there for many years and is one of the most successful tobacco sellers.  That is “Marlboro”, a brand which successfully found a way to make people pay a higher price to get a better quality poison.


Marlboro is made by Philip Morris USA and it was launched in 1924(93 years ago), it was created specially for women, that is why the slogan was “Mild as May”. The name “Marlboro” was simply taken from a street in London where the Philip Morris factory was situated. All the adverts of the brand were trying to show how girly these cigarettes are, even the filter had a red band in the end of it to hide the lipstick of the women, they were calling that “Beauty Tips to Keep the Paper from your Lips”. In the 1950s scientists stated that smoking is very much responsible for lung cancer. Marlboro took the opportunity to reach a new target market, the brand wanted to reach men and specifically men who are concerned about lung cancer. The cigarettes of Marlboro were filtered and that was considered safer than most of the other brands which weren’t filtering their products at the time. The brand continued to develop in this direction and today we see it as one of the most famous cigarette names in the world.



-          Marlboro is being sold in over than 180 countries around the world.


-          Marlboro is the most famous and best selling product of “Philip Morris”.


-          Marlboro alongside Philip Morris gives $25 million per year to charity.


-          In 2014 Marlboro sold 391 billion cigarettes.


-          Marlboro is the largest cigarette brand in the United States for the last 35 years, it holds 44% of the market share which is more than the next ten brands combined.


-          In 2015 Marlboro was valued at $80 billion, that was number ten in the world, it was more than Facebook and Amazon.



What does Marlboro do to make people buy the product?

People recognise the good quality, and Marlboro is certainly delivering this quality of tobacco and cigarettes. Customers know what they are getting, they feel insured, they feel that Marlboro is less dangerous just because it is more expensive and established.
Of course the marketing of the brand played a huge role in making Marlboro famous and successful. When the brand switched its target market to men, guys were feeling uncomfortable smoking cigarettes which were originally made for ladies. That is why Marlboro launched an advertising campaign which had various manly figures such as weightlifters, soldiers, builders etc. The cowboy was supposed to be the first in the line. After one year of the campaign, sales were going up and the brand was reaching its objectives, the company dropped all the manly figures except the cowboy. The cowboy became a legend in Marlboro advertising.
Other than the advertising of the brand which is now banned by most of the countries, Marlboro used to have a very good strategy in their sponsorship deals. The company was a sponsor to McLaren and Ferrari teams in Formula One. In between 2005 and 2011 Ferrari received around $1 billion from the agreement with Marlboro. The brand was aiming at sports cars and motorcycles, the main goal was to reach the “MEN” target audience and it worked perfectly.
Both Ferrari and Marlboro have red as their corporate colour, the relation between them lasted the longest and I think their sponsorship agreement was the most successful one. Recently Ferrari changed the logo of Marlboro to a barcode, this way they are not harming the regulations reagarding cigarettes promotion.
Other brands that Marlboro sponsored: Yamaha, Ducati, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Toyota etc.

The cigarette industry is huge and Marbloro are the giants in it. The brand was clinical in making the right choices in the right time. Their advertising and PR strategy was simple but very well executed, which brought the desired results for the company.
             Keep an eye for my next blog post which will bring us back to the alcohol zone.


  1. The Marlboro Man is one of the most iconic symbols in advertising - do you think he is partly responsible for what makes Marlboro such a strong brand? How do you think the brand will do now that (in the UK at least) cigarettes are being sold in black, unbranded packaging?

  2. Yes I think he is iconic and that he is responsible for some of the fame of Marlboro. But I still believe that the brand will stay on top regardless the black package, people know the brand and they buy it for what is inside the package.