In 1902, Philip Morris would open up a corporation that, 90 years later, would become one of the top ten most valuable brands, boasting a market worth of $32 billion. Though it would become popular, Mr. Morris cannot say that it was easy, in fact, Mr. Morris would have his own form of a Cinderella story.
Philip Morris started out making manufacturing three kinds of tobacco cigarettes – Cambridge, Derby and Marlboro. Originally the Marlborough brand was introduced to the market as a cigarette for a woman that was as “Mild as May”. A series of commercials was introduced as a series of advertisements targeting the high-end woman, with babies telling parents how safe the Marlboro was.
During the years following that campaign WWI and WWII, three more brands were put on the market – Camel, Lucky Strike and Chesterfields. These brands did everything except put Marlboro out of business.
During the years of 1942 and 1957 two articles were published that raised fear in the cigarette users about lung cancer and how all cigarettes were equally deadly. Seeing his opportunity to bring back his safer product, Mr. Morris decided to re-introduce his product onto the market place and this time, target the men and women who were stuck on their addiction, but were looking for a safer means of feeding it.
When re-introducing his brand, Mr. Morris brought out the character of a “Tattooed Man” in his campaign. Playing of the idea that tattooed men were romantic, had at one time worked with his hands and knew that was real and life and who deserved what kind of respect, Mr. Morris focused on those men who wanted to be seen as men, but wanted to be safe with what they were smoking. This appealed not only to men, but to the women of the time looking to be seen as equals to men in the eyes of society and men. Upon the introduction of this campaign in 1955, the Marlboro brand became the top telling cigarette in New York, with its sales increasing to 5,000 per cent in less than eight months. Right now Mr. Morris’ brands can be found in 180 markets, they are the top selling brand in the world and are considered the 10th most valuable brand product in the world – not bad for someone who was once about to go out of business.