2008-03-05

Lucky Strikes Cigarettes


1997 'Lucky Lips' pin-up packs. George Washington Hill was president of The American Tobacco Company from 1925 until his death in 1946. The 1940's most successful advertising slogan, "Lucky Strike Cigarettes Green Has Gone to War!," was conceived by Mr. Hill while duck hunting on Monkey Island, North Carolina. Several days earlier Richard Boylan, head of purchasing for ATCo, had informed Hill that there was only a three months' supply of green ink available for printing Lucky Strike Cigarettes labels. Chromium, an element which is essential to solid green ink, was a war material in short supply. Boylan told Hill "Just like the soldiers, green ink has gone to war." George Washington Hill knew that the green Lucky Strike Cigarettes package didn't appeal to women, but he needed a reason to change colors. When Hill found out that there was a shortage of merchant ships able to carry war supplies to England and Russia, and that older wood hulled ships were being pressed into service, he had his reason. Copper paint was used to protect the wooden hulls from marine worm damage, and Hill had just learned that copper was an ingredient in the ink needed for the gold bands on the Lucky Strike Cigarettes label. Eureka! George Hill's new "Lucky Strike Cigarettes Green Has Gone to War!" advertising campaign touted the fact that enough bronze (copper and tin alloy) was saved each year to meet the requirements for 400 light tanks, those "speedy battering-rams of destruction!" Lord & Thomas, the Chicago advertising agency that promoted Lucky Strike Cigarettes, received a lot of hate mail because of the patriotic slogan. Critics felt patriotism was being exploited, but Lucky Strike Cigarettes sales did go up dramatically. The "Lucky Strike Cigarettes Green Has Gone to War!" campaign broke about the same time that

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