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The Appeal of Vintage Tobacco Advertisements

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Within this report, an advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes has been used in order to break down the rhetorical analysis of the ad itself. This essay explains the pathetic, ethical, and logical appeals in which have been used in order to attract consumers. This break down will explain how such a simple advertisement; can attract a variety of consumers in order to buy their product. There are three main appeals in which the rhetorical analysis is composed of, in order to produce and ad, which will actually attract people. Keywords: Tobacco, Advertisement, Appeals.

The Appeal of Vintage Tobacco Advertisements
Throughout the years, marketing companies have always tried to do their best in order to appeal to the consumers. These marketing gurus do this in a variety of manners; however, their appeals are still the same. A good advertisement will carry appeals to be pathetic, ethical, and logical. I have analyzed a vintage advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes from the 1950s. The advertisement exhibits a majority of the appeals in which creates a proper ad.

The Pathetic Appeal
The first thing to keep in mind is that a pathetic appeal does not mean the definition of the word. As viewers, of advertisements, the word pathetic actually emphasizes our emotions towards the ad itself. The Lucky Strike ad that I have analyzed actually evokes our emotional response of enjoyment and love. The advertisement features a beautiful blonde woman who is holding a cigarette. The advertising company uses this woman to show that smoking a Lucky Strike cigarette can be a truly joyful experience. The words written on the ad state “Be Happy – GO LUCKY”, which yes, may be a catch phrase, but it also tells consumers that the words state that if you smoke our brand, you will be happy. This is a minor form of a pathetic appeal; however, it is still shown in the advertisement none-the-less. It allows the projected consumers to feel that a euphoric and joyous emotion will be felt upon buying and smoking a Lucky Strike compared to smoking a competitor’s brand of cigarette.

The Ethical Appeal

As consumers, we normally view an ethical appeal from a person of some importance. Mainly a figurehead in politics, religion, or possibly celebrity. Yet, in the Lucky Strike ad in which I analyzed there is only a blonde woman, dressed in golf attire, holding a cigarette. Now even though she may not be a well-known figurehead, she may still have the same influence as a known leader may have. The woman that is pictured in the advertisement has the ability to influence both men and women of the 1950s era. We must realize that women of the 1950s typically were housewives and performed day to day household duties. So with the advertisement displaying a beautiful woman in golf attire, they may be trying to appeal that an everyday woman, can be part of a larger social group. One perhaps that may be a group of female golfers, or even, just showing that this particular brand of cigarette could make an average woman, a bit more special. Now as far as the ethical appeal to men of the era, it could show them that if they were to smoke the same brand of cigarette as this good looking blonde woman, that she or women like her, may find them more attractive. Men could also be influenced by the fact that she is wearing golf gear.

Now this example may seem a bit strange, however, golf is typically associated as a man’s sport. Since the woman in the advertisement is wearing golf gear, it could influence both men and women to feel like they would be part of a higher social circle if they were to play golf and smoke Lucky Strike cigarettes. The Logical Appeal. The logical appeal in this advertisement comes at the bottom of the ad itself. The ad states that Lucky Strike cigarettes are produced from the best tobacco and completely out-perform the other leading brands of cigarette companies. Claims are made within the advertisement that the Lucky Strike is the only brand to feature such high quality tobacco in their cigarettes and that no other brand of tobacco products uses the best quality like theirs does. This can appeal to consumers in many ways, mostly because consumers want to buy the best product. If they are being led to believe that Lucky Strike cigarettes are better than the competitors, then they would be more willing to purchase and try the product.

The advertisement also states that Lucky cigarettes are better tasting than the other leading brands. Now if anyone knows anything about human behavior, then it is known that human beings are creatures of pleasure and want the best. If we are presented with one thing that tastes better than something else does, we are more prone to purchase that product due to taste alone. Therefore, this cigarette ad has both the logical appeals of better quality and taste. Conclusion. Does this advertisement truly appeal to the consumers in which were intended? I believe it does to a “T”. All three types of rhetorical appeals have been shown within this ad. Now not all three have been as prominent as the others have, they are still effective in providing the wants for a consumer to buy the product. The pathetic appeal seems to convey itself more towards being happy if you smoke the cigarettes. While the ethical appeal shows a beautiful woman holding, the cigarette in which might attract men by her beauty alone and their want to have a beautiful woman who smokes with them and it may attract women by their desire to want to be a powerful and independent woman. The logical appeal has been shown by the advertisements claim to having both high quality tobacco and the best tasting tobacco in the industry.


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