Table 1 Cigarette advertising campaigns using actor endorsements, 1927–1950
DateBrand, campaignCompanyTypical advertising copy
HeadlineTestimonial and/or Hollywood tie-in
Jan–Jun 1927Lucky Strike, Precious Voice20ATC“The Captivating Voice of the Delightful Actress, Alice Brady”“I use Lucky Strikes, as I find they not only protect my voice but afford me the greatest amount of genuine enjoyment”
Jul–Nov 1927Lucky Strike, Testimonial Series (Double and Group)21ATC“I got the idea from Florenz Ziegfeld”“Several years ago, when I first began to smoke Lucky Strikes, I noticed that my voice remained unirritated after a most strenuous time directing rehearsals”
Nov–Dec 1927Lucky Strike, Testimonial Series (Package)21ATC“Paul Leni, Motion Picture Director, writes:”“While directing the filming of “The Cat and the Canary” for Universal Pictures Corporation, I was fortunate to always have a supply of Lucky Strikes on hand”
Jan–Apr 1928Lucky Strike, Cream of the Crop Series (Testimonial Series)22ATC“I Always Have Luckies, Says Betty Compson, Motion Picture Star”“The strain of constant posing before a camera is sometimes great. A few puffs from a good cigarette is the quickest relief. I always have Luckies on the set”
Jun–Aug 1928Lucky Strike, Cream of the Crop Series (Frames Series)22ATC“Cream of the Crop”“I get more kick from the Lucky Strike flavor than from any other cigarette”—Douglas Fairbanks, “America’s Motion Picture Favorite, as he will appear in…“The Iron Mask””
1930Old Gold, They Gave a New Thrill23LOR“They gave a new Thrill. That’s why they got there….so quickly”“Joan Crawfords [sic] and Old Golds are Nature’s favorites”. “[Joan’s] recent picture, “Our Blushing Brides”, is a nationwide hit”
Sept–Dec 1931Lucky Strike, Modern Testimonials Series24ATC“I have to be kind to my throat”“I’ve tried several brands of cigarette but I prefer Luckies. I smoke them regularly as I have to be kind to my throat”—Kay Francis, “…one of Warner Bros’ brightest stars”
Jan–Feb 1932Lucky Strike, Frame Series (Movie Stars)25 26ATC“There’s none so good as Luckies”“Put me down as one who always reaches for a Lucky. It’s a real delight to find a Cellophane wrapper that opens without an ice pick”—Jean Harlow, appearing “…in her new Columbia Picture, “Three Wise Girls…””
1934–1935Old Gold, The Throat-ease CigaretteLOR“Do women smokers realize what Old Gold’s throat-ease means?…”“…asks Barbara Stanwyck [Old Gold smoker since 1933]…Barbara Stanwyck starring in Warner Bros forthcoming picture, “The Lost Lady””
Jan–Apr 1937Lucky Strike, Precious Voice27ATC“Hollywood’s Most Polished Voice”“…I find that Luckies are always gentle on my throat. It’s only common sense for an actor—or anyone else, for that matter—to want a light smoke”—Herbert Marshall, “co-starring with Barbara Stanwyck in RKO’s “A Love Like That””
Jun–Oct 1937Lucky Strike, Testimonial Strip28 29ATC“She often acts 12 hours a day! CAROLE LOMBARD tells how her singing teacher urged her to chose a light smoke—Luckies…”“In making “Swing High, Swing Low”, my recent Paramount picture”, says Carole Lombard, “there was an unusual strain on my throat…I could smoke Luckies all day without the slightest throat irritation. Most others on the set also prefer them”
Jan–Feb 1938Lucky Strike, Tobacco Expert and Voice28ATC“Her Throat Insured for $50 000”“…I take no chances on an irritated throat. No matter how much I use my voice in acting, I always find Luckies gentle”—Dolores Del Rio, “starring in the 20th Century Fox Picture, “Shanghai Deadline””
1940–1950Chesterfield, various campaignsL&M“ABC: Always Buy Chesterfield”“All my friends know Chesterfield is my brand”—Rita Hayworth, “star of Columbia’s Technicolor Production “Down to Earth””
1946–1947Raleigh, Less Nicotine/Less Throat Irritants30B&W“Less Nicotine, Less Throat Irritants”“I’d rather have a Raleigh!”—Herbert Marshall, “starring in Duel in the Sun, a David O’Selznick Production”
1949–1950Camel, Camels for mildness31RJR“How MILD can a cigarette be?”“My throat sure gets a workout, so it’s easy to see why I smoke the mild cigarette...CAMEL!”—Peter Lind Hayes
Feb–Apr 1950Lucky Strike, Rough Puff3237ATC“There’s never a rough puff in a Lucky”“Hedy Lamarr says: “A good cigarette is like a good movie—always enjoyable. That’s why it’s Luckies for me!””
1950Camel, 30-Day Camel Mildness Test38RJR“With Stars who must think of their throats, it’s Cool, Mild Camels!”“John Wayne, Movie Hero: “The roles I play are far from easy on my voice! Camels suit my throat to a “T”!””
  • Source: American Tobacco Company,3941 RJ Reynolds,38 Jackler Collection.

  • “Luckies” is a name often used to refer to the Lucky Strike brand. ATC, American Tobacco Company; B&W, Brown & Williamson; L&M, Liggett & Myers; LOR, Lorillard; RJR, RJ Reynolds.