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Strand (cigarette): Wikis


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Strand was a brand of cigarettes produced by W.D. & H.O. Wills (part of Imperial Tobacco), launched in 1959 but withdrawn in the early 1960s. The launch was accompanied by a huge television advertising campaign, You're never alone with a Strand. They also ran advertisements in newspapers offering a free pack of Strand cigarettes if you filled in a coupon and sent it in.[1]

You're never alone with a Strand

This television advertisement depicted a dark, wet, deserted London street scene in which a rain coated character, played by Terence Brooks, looking similar to Frank Sinatra, lit a cigarette and puffed reflectively. This was accompanied by an instrumental, "The Lonely Man Theme" by Cliff Adams, playing in the background and a voice-over declared "You're never alone with a Strand. The cigarette of the moment."[2][3]

The commercial, written by John May, was popular with the public, with Brooks becoming a star and the music reaching Number 39 in the UK Singles Chart.[4] However, sales of the brand were poor and it was soon taken off the market. The public associated smoking Strand cigarettes with being lonely and were put off from buying them.[5]

It is regarded as one of the most disastrous tobacco advertising campaigns of all time.[6]

Popular culture

The campaign was parodied in "The Bowmans" an episode of Hancock's Half Hour, where Tony Hancock stars in a series of commercials for "Grimsby Pilchards" with the tagline 'You're never alone with a pilchard'.


  1. ^ "And another thing …. !", Cayman Net, 25 June 2007
  2. ^ The Commercials at (includes footage of the commercial)
  3. ^ UK Television Adverts, 1955-1985: Cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco
  4. ^ Nostalgia Central. "Cigarettes & Cigars". Accessed 7 August 2006.
  5. ^ TV Cream. "Off the back of a fag packet". Accessed 7 August 2006.
  6. ^ "Tobacco's Finest Blend: With the ban on advertising tobacco about to come into force ..(tobacco ads reviewed for creativity", Campaign, 24 January 2003


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