Selling Smoke: Tobacco Advertising and Anti-Smoking Campaigns
Celebrities and "Ordinary" People Sell Smoke
The testimonial is one of the oldest forms of advertising. Most early tobacco featured elegant upper class men and women smoking. By the 1930s, tobacco companies paid celebrities, especially film stars, to promote their brands. In 1964, tobacco companies were banned from using celebrity testimonials for their products.
Later advertisements tried to show more ordinary people smoking. Some of the advertisements paired celebrities with ordinary people to suggest that you can smoke the same cigarette as your favorite movie star or sports hero. The people featured in cigarette ads were far from truly ordinary as almost all of the men and all of the women were young, slim, attractive, and having a good time.