A Vision of the Future for Marlboro: A New Myth of the West

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{{#badges: Tobaccowiki}} A Vision of the Future for Marlboro: A New Myth of the West

In the early 1990's (around the time John Gray's pop-psychology book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was published) Philip Morris sought to re-make the image of the Marlboro Man into a new-age, sensitive pop icon that would appeal to the sensitive guys of the 90's. They sought to alter the cowboy-icon's image from

"Cowboys are outlaws. Cowboys are brutal. Cowboys eat pork and beans."

to

"Cowboys are kind. Cowboys eat grilled vegetable fajitas...Cowboys dance with wolves."

In short, PM sought to change the cowboy from a "John Wayne" image to a kinder-gentler "Kevin Costner"-type image. The marketing and promotional potential of this re-make was unlimited: promotional tie-ins could include piggybacking onto causes like land preservation and the environment, adding expensive silver and turquoise Indian jewelry to the "Marlboro Gear" catalog, and offering "soft adventure" vacations where smokers could go rafting and hiking at the Marlboro Ranch.

Selected quote:

The Cowboy, as American icon, has never been hotter.

The emergence of a new trend we call "Wildering" demonstrates that the impulse that drives the cowboy myth has never been more compelling to consumers.

WILDERING: A new appreciation of ourselves as primal beings, returning to nature to test ourselves, physically and spiritually.

TREND SUPPORT: In fact, 5 of the 10 BrainReserve Trends support the appeal of the Cowboy Myth of today:

THE APPEAL OF THE COWBOY:

Cashing out: returning to nature, a "simpler" life Down-Aging: Recapturing the cowboy "fun" of childhood Economics: Expression of individuality Fantasy Adventure: Identifying with frontier heroics S.O.S.: A reverence for the land But the Mythic Cowboy that speaks to the American imagination today is not the dusty figure of old TV westerns, shoot-outs and cow-poking. A NEW "MYTH OF THE WEST" IS SHIFTING THE "COWBOY PARADIGM"

"The New Myth of the West"

Old Myth:

Cowboys are macho and simple-minded. Cowboys are "men against nature." Cowboys kill Indians. Cowboys leave women at home, wringing their hands. Cowboys are alone on the range. Cowboys are outlaws. Cowboys are brutal. Cowboys eat pork and beans. Cowboys dress for function. Cowboys shoot wolves. New Myth: Cowboys are sensitive. Cowboys are advocates of the land. Cowboys are Indians. Women are cowboys. Cowboys ride the range with their wives. Cowboys have principles. Cowboys are kind. Cowboys eat grilled vegetable fajitas. Cowboys dress for functional style. Cowboys dance with wolves. SHIFTING THE COWBOY PARADIGM: John Wayne ----> Kevin Costner

Rough and dirty ----> Real and Hip

Middle-aged man on a horse ----> Young man on an Indian-Chief Motorcycle

THE OPPORTUNITY for MARLBORO: Recapture the excitement that built the brand by re-casting the Marlboro Man as the 90's Cowboy.


Title: A VISION OF THE FUTURE FOR MARLBORO: 'THE NEW MYTH OF THE WEST'
Org. Author: BRAIN RESERVE
Date: 19920715
Type: REPORT, CHART, GRAPH, TABLE, MAPS
Bates: 2048360916/0937
Collection: Philip Morris
Pages 22
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/jta36e00

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