Lucky Strike: Wikis

  
  

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Lucky Strike is a famous brand of American cigarettes, often referred to as "Luckies".

Contents

History

The brand was first introduced by R.A. Patterson of Richmond, Virginia, in 1871 as cut-plug chewing tobacco and later a cigarette. In 1905, the company was acquired by the American Tobacco Company (ATC), and Lucky Strike would later prove to be its answer to R.J. Reynolds' Camel.

In 1917, the brand started using the slogan "It's Toasted" to inform consumers about the manufacturing method in which the tobacco is toasted rather than sun-dried, a process touted as making the cigarette's taste more desirable. The message "L.S.M.F.T." ("Lucky Strike means fine tobacco") was introduced on the package in the same year.

Lucky Strike's association with radio music programs began during the 1920s on NBC. By 1928, the bandleader and vaudeville producer B. A. Rolfe was performing on radio and recording as "B.A. Rolfe and his Lucky Strike Orchestra" for Edison Records. In 1935, ATC began to sponsor Your Hit Parade, featuring North Carolina tobacco auctioneer Lee Aubrey "Speed" Riggs (later, another tobacco auctioneer from Lexington, Kentucky, F.E. Boone, was added). The weekly radio show's countdown catapulted the brand's success, remaining popular for 25 years. The shows capitalized on the tobacco auction theme and each ended with the signature phrase "Sold, American." The company's advertising campaigns generally featured a theme that stressed the quality of the tobacco purchased at auction for use in making Lucky Strike cigarettes and claimed that the higher quality tobacco resulted in a cigarette with better flavor. American engaged in a series of advertisements using Hollywood actors as endorsers of Lucky Strike, including testimonials from Douglas Fairbanks concerning the cigarette's flavor.[1]

British Lucky Strike packet with cigarette along side and government health warning.

The brand's signature dark green pack was changed to white in 1942. In a famous advertising campaign that used the slogan "Lucky Strike Green has gone to war", the company claimed the change was made because the copper used in the green color was needed for World War II. American Tobacco actually used chromium to produce the green ink, and copper to produce the gold-colored trim. A limited supply of each was available, and substitute materials made the package look drab. However, the truth of the matter was that the white package was introduced to modernize the label and to increase the appeal of the package among female smokers; market studies showed that the green package was not found attractive to women, who had become an important consumer of tobacco products. The war effort became a convenient way to make the product more marketable while appearing patriotic at the same time. [2]

In 1978 and 1994, export rights and U.S. rights were purchased by Brown & Williamson. In the 1960s, filtered styles were launched in addition to a mentholated version called "Lucky Strike Green". This time "Green" was referring to menthol and not to the overall package color. In late 2006, both the Full Flavored and Light filtered varieties of Lucky Strike cigarettes were discontinued in North America. However, Lucky Strike will continue to have marketing and distribution support in territories controlled by British American Tobacco as a global drive brand. In addition, R.J. Reynolds continues to market the original, non-filter Lucky Strikes in the United States. Lucky Strikes currently have a small but very loyal base of smokers.[3][4]

In 2007, a new packaging of Lucky Strikes was released, with a 2 way opening which split seven cigarettes from the rest. In the same year, the company used the world's smallest man, He Pingping, in their ad campaigns.

In 2009, Lucky Strike Silver (the brand marketed as lighter) changed their UK packets from the quintessential red design to blue, albeit with a red teaser outer covering the packet.

Lucky Strike in the media

A Lucky Strike package appears in the opening credits of the Cowboy Bebop movie.

The cigarette brand is referenced in many modern forms of media. In the MSX2 version of the video game Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, a fictionalized version of the brand called Lucky Striker is said to be the protagonist's favorite. In the Tom Waits song "Kentucky Avenue", the first-person speaker references his or her "half pack of Lucky Strikes". Lucky Strikes can also be seen on a piano in Ralph Bakshi's 1981 animated film American Pop.

Former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms handed out Lucky Strike cigarettes, which were his personal brand of choice, in his Senate office to meeting attendants before it became "utterly unfashionable".[5]

See also

References

External links








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