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Lucky Strike advertising: the use of ‘anaphora’ as a rhetorical device to highlight ‘smooth’ as a cigarette product descriptor
  1. Timothy Dewhirst
  1. Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies, Gordon S Lang School of Business and Economics, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Timothy Dewhirst, Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies, Gordon S Lang School of Business and Economics, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada; dewhirst{at}

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Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, which is a central objective of marketing communication.1–3 Marketers seek to develop a favourable set of brand beliefs and attitudes among consumers so that they will buy and keep buying the product.4 Marketing scholars, Edward McQuarrie and David Mick, present a taxonomy of rhetorical figures that are commonly used in advertising language.5 Rhymes and metaphors exemplify rhetorical figures familiar to many people, but other classifications such as ‘anaphora’—in terminology at least—are likely unfamiliar. Anaphora describes ‘the repetition of words at the beginning of phrases’.5

Recent Lucky Strike cigarette advertising from the USA makes use of anaphora as a rhetorical device to present the brand as interchangeable with ‘smooth’ as a product attribute. As seen in figure 1, prominent copy in Lucky Strike advertising states: ‘Always Smooth. Always Luckies.’ Anaphora is demonstrated with the repeated use of ‘Always’ to begin successive statements. Markedly, the copy makes a bold and confident claim. The ad suggests that consumers should only smoke Lucky Strike. ‘Always’ is an adverb that reinforces quality and reliability.

Figure 1

This Lucky Strike cigarette ad circulated in the December 2020 edition of Rolling Stone. Prominent ad copy—in block letters that is similar typography to ‘Lucky Strike’ as seen in the brand logo—states: ‘Always Smooth. Always Luckies.’ Packages of two brand variants—Red and Gold—are depicted. Health warnings are not visible on the depicted cigarette packages. Copy …

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  • Contributors TD was the sole contributor to the writing and analysis of the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests TD is an Associate Editor of Tobacco Control with respect to Product Marketing and Promotion. He has also served as an expert witness in tobacco litigation for plaintiff counsel in class action lawsuits as well as for governments whose policies regarding the marketing and promotion of tobacco products were challenged on constitutional grounds.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.