Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

Special Holiday Retro Ad of the Week: Chesterfield Cigarettes, 1951

December 19 | Posted by: | Retro Ad of the Week, Seasonal

holiday advertising

We all know cigarette advertisements are taboo overall these days, nevermind for the holidays. Nowadays we’re much more likely to see anti-tobacco marketing campaigns. But back in 1951, cigarettes were heavily promoted in holiday advertising via the young superstar (and future POTUS), Ronald Reagan. Note the push to purchase the “beautiful Christmas-card carton.” Perhaps the aim was to convince men to emulate Ronnie and give Chesterfields to their sweethearts for Christmas. Or maybe they were trying to appeal to women who found him attractive. But no matter the target or strategy, we can say with certainty that a celebrity-backed cigarette ad would not fly in 2017.

FUN FACT: While Ronald Reagan was once a smoker, he started eating jelly beans to kick the habit in 1966. Favorite flavor: black licorice. (Source: Time Magazine)

For a fun look back in time, check out some of our other retro cigarette ads