A new form of print advertising took place during the years 1942-1943. No print ads were produced, nothing said over the radio and nothing printed on billboards. Only an occasional phrase was said from time to time, becoming one of the most hated commercials on the radio, but at the same time, one of the most successful during the war. Some say that it was the lack of large informative advertisements that made the campaign such a huge success, while others say that is was all due to the support of the war. Any yet others say it was all because of name recognition and popularity. The only advertisement seen for this product was inside the product’s packaging – a small insert inside the cigarette carton.
Six different drawings were placed inside different cigarette packages with the simple catch phrase “Luck Strike Green Goes to War”. These drawings were cartoons placed on cigarette cartons that included a tank and submarine, motorcycles, destroyers, fighter planes and a AA gun. All appeared on the inside of the cigarette cartons, while some appeared on the outside.
Not long before American troops invaded North Africa in November of 1942, Richard Boylan, head of purchasing for the American Tobacco Co. was informed that there was only enough green ink to continue printing their cigarette cartons green in full color (the entire box being green) for the following three months supply. In order to make the green ink last for the rest of the year, and to the end of the war, the company decided to change up the packaging and print the boxes white instead of green, while saving the green ink for the cartoon illustrations implying that like the soldiers of America, “Luck Strike Green Has Gone to War”. This move prompted a since of patriotism and pride just as America was going to war.
While the advertising company in charge of this expenditure did receive some hate mail, the sales for the Tabacco brand starting to rise. It was only after the United States invaded North Africa in November of 1942 that the sales increased by 38% in support of the war.