Welcome back to the world of cigarettes and alcohol. After my last post about Bacardi, in this one it is time for cigarettes again. There are many famous tobacco brands that we could discuss, Pall Mall, Davidoff, Lambert and Butler, LM, Parliament etc. All this companies are booming in the smoking business. Since this is going to be my last post about cigarettes I chose one very special name and that is Lucky Strike. A brand that is known worldwide and you could probably recognise it without being a smoker.
The brand was introduced in the early 1870s as cut-plug chewing tobacco and later as a cigarette. It was the leading tobacco brand in America by 1925 when it had 14 billion cigarettes sold and it became the leading brand nationwide by the 1930 when it sold 40 billion rolled cigarettes. Lucky Strike was very successful during the second world war period when billions of cigarettes were sold to the American army and the soldiers. Back then the cigarettes were crucial during the war, it was one of the few things that soldiers could enjoy on the battlefield. The brand used its popularity during the war in Vietnam as well, since then the brand couldn’t manage to keep up with the new brands, it lost a lot of its clients. This shows that although Lucky Strike used to be such a strong and successful brand it went downhill because it couldn’t adapt to the changing market. These cigarettes have been one of the top selling cigarettes of all times and they will always be a part from the history of cigarettes. They do still exist, but if they have any popularity it is not a lot and it is mainly in The United States of America.
- The corporate colour for the package of Lucky Strike used to be green, it change to white in the 1940s
- Lucky Strike was the name of one of a number of temporary U.S. Army "tent cities" known as Cigarette Camps situated around the French port of Le Havre following its capture in the wake of the Allied D-Day invasion in mid-1944.
- Lucky Strike is specifically famous for the use of roasted tobacco rather than the form dried in the sun, which is supposed to enhance the flavour and make the cigarettes more desirable.
- Although looking like manly cigarettes because of the aggressive red logo, ‘Luckies’ have been one of the most favoured cigarettes by women of all time, because of the smooth taste and richness of flavour.
At the moment Lucky Strike does not do much, it relies on its name and on the strong brand recognition. Nowadays it is very difficult for cigarette brands to evolve and improve their brand awareness, simply because of all the laws and regulations that are against cigarette advertising and PR.
When Lucky Strike were at their top, they used to make very interesting and memorable commercials. One of them that I watched is from 1996 and it shows a broken plane trying to land on an aircraft carrier, the plane stops right on the edge, everyone is happy the pilot comes out of the cabin, he cheers and then he steps on one of the wings of the plane, which makes the plan unbalanced and they fell in the sea. One lady from the crew runs to the edge of the ship, she looks down and she sees that although the plane fell in the sea, the guy fell in the safety net. He just sits there smoking Lucky Strike cigarette smiling, then the commercial says: “Get Lucky with Lucky Strike”.
Back in the 1940s and 50s they had variety of commercials which had the same song. The lyrics of the song were saying: “ Light up a “Lucky”, it’s light up time”. The song is very cheerful, the people in the commercials are so happy that they “lighted up a Lucky”, all that looks funny today but in the 1950s it had massive effect on the people.
The corporate ID of the brand was very good, the red logo circle on the white colour package was very eye-catching. Lucky Strike had two slogans that they sometimes used together. The first one was “It’s toasted” because of the way their cigarettes are made, and the second one was L.S.M.F.T. which meant “Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobaco”.
The brand had some sponsorship, but the most famous one was the Formula 1 and they also sponsored the Honda team in F1 in 2006.
50 years ago people looked way happier when they were smoking, almost everyone was doing it. Cigarettes were smoked at work, on stadiums, in the cinema, basically everywhere. Understandable after that society discovered that cigarettes are a major reason for lung cancer and all that happiness went downhill. Lucky strike had its moments and for me it stays one of the most famous cigarette brands in the world.
Goodbye for now and look out for my last blog post which will be available to read very soon.