2008-03-13

LUCKY LIGHTENS UP (1982-1986)


The 1985 "Light My Lucky" campaign was the third unsuccessful attempt by The American Tobacco Company to add a filter tipped line extension to their old standard, Lucky Strike Cigarettes. Sales of non-filtered Luckies had been on the decline since the 1950's. In terms of corporate strategy, perhaps the most interesting attempt was the 1982 "Lucky Strikes Again" campaign that was headed up by Thomas C. Hays, a 47 year old non-smoker. Hays had between 50 and 100 million dollars to promote a low tar filter tip version of Lucky Strike Cigarettes. He felt that the best way to do this was to emphasize the fun of the cigarette. A dart-throwing tournament and roving vans with women passing out free packs in bowling alleys, bars, and restaurants went nowhere. It should be noted that Thomas Hays wasn't a tobaccoman. He had been an executive with Jergens Lotion before joining ATCo. To be fair, there were plenty of cigarette test markets that were run by tobaccomen that also failed. Nevertheless, The American Tobacco Company went out of business in 1994.

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