Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smoke

Nowadays, a woman with a cigarette does not surprise anyone, but even at the beginning of the twentieth century it was unthinkable. For example, in the United States, smoking was considered vulgar and unworthy behavior for a decent lady.

The situation was changed by a man named Edward Bernays, who, by order of the Lucky Strike tobacco company, not only legalized smoking, but also made it popular among women. In the eyes of the young ladies of that time, the cigarette became a symbol of freedom and a manifestation of protest against the world of men.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smoke

Bernays Edward was born in Austria to a Jewish family. His uncle was the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, and his great-grandfather was the chief rabbi of Hamburg. As a child, Bernays moved with his parents to the United States, where he became a professional advertiser. In his work, he combined the concepts of" crowd psychology " developed by the scientist Gustave Lebon and the achievements of his famous uncle.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeBernays Edward

Bernays reached great heights in his profession, and during the First World War, the US government attracted him to explain to ordinary Americans the importance of their participation in this conflict. Edward and his colleagues did it. American soldiers died on the battlefields, businessmen earned money, and Bernays gained tremendous experience in influencing the consciousness of the masses.

After the war, Edward Bernays created his own advertising agency and successfully coped with all the tasks assigned to him. He was the first to advertise not a product, but a legend associated with it. Bernays convinced Americans that drinking orange juice and eating scrambled eggs and bacon in the morning is useful. Thanks to his method, he made the car a symbol of success and an attempt of the middle class to reach out to the upper strata of society. Bernays managed to create conditions under which people themselves were looking for goods.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smoke

Edward Bernays with his wife after graduating from Harvard

When he was ordered to promote expensive pianos on the market, the advertiser contacted the architects and convinced them to include separate rooms for a musical instrument in the plans of future townhouses. When promoting velvet fabric, Bernays began to organize exhibitions in Paris, to which he attracted fashion couturiers. From France, the fashion for velvet has spread to the United States.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeAn example of American propaganda against Germany during the First World War

Bernays is the creator of such a concept as PR (Public Relations), by which he understood the introduction of a product and a phenomenon without which an ideal life is impossible. In 1925, he published the book "Propaganda", and the magazine" LIFE " included him in the list of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century.

By the 30s of the twentieth century, the overwhelming majority of the male population smoked in the United States. Tobacco companies made huge profits. The market was fully occupied, and the producers had only to compete with each other. In 1929, the president of the American Tobacco Company, George Washington Hill, hires Edward Bernays, who, together with the advertiser Albert Lasker, decides to do the unthinkable.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smoke

American Tobacco President George Washington Hill

Advertisers offer to make smoking popular among women. In the United States, smokers were condemned by society and culture, which means that to capture this huge sales market, you just need to change the culture. Lucky Strike cigarettes were chosen for the role of the brand, the name of which means "unexpected luck" or "successful strike"in English.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smoke

Actress Marlene Dietrich smokes Lucky Strike cigarettes

We decided to start with a loud action. In 1929, during the Easter holidays in A march of feminists hired by Bernays took place near the Statue of Liberty in New York. For the event, he attracted the famous feminist Rood Hale. In her speech, she stated:

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeNewspaper ad about women's cigarette smoking courses

The cigarette was declared as a symbol of freedom for all women. Interestingly, when selecting candidates for the march, preference was given to girls with a pleasant, but not model appearance. This was done to make it easier for ordinary women to associate themselves with the protest. The campaign made a real splash and, according to the American Medical Women's Association, raised cigarette consumption among women from 5% to 12%.

Smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes was presented not only as a beautiful and elegant, but also a useful process. Advertising posters claimed that tobacco promotes weight loss and improves teeth. According to their beliefs, the smoke killed harmful microbes in the mouth. To consolidate the opinion in the mass consciousness, the slogan was coined: "Choose Lucky, not sweets".

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smoke

20 697 doctors claim that Varnishes are not harmful

The advertising campaign attracted movie and pop stars. They had to convey to women that smoking is an indispensable attribute of a beauty from high society who leads a free lifestyle.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeSmoking Lucky cigarettes saves you from obesity

A pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes had a popular green color at that time. When he began to go out of fashion, Edward Bernays was attracted by couturiers, who, through exhibitions and green accessories, brought him back to the peak of popularity. When the Second World War began, Lucky Strike went through a rebranding.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeLight the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeLight the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeThe brand of cigarettes was popular among women, and the green color, due to its association with military uniforms, was perceived as too masculine. The Lucky Strike pack turned white, but even here the advertising genius got out. It was stated that copper is used for painting the packaging, and this metal is now more needed at the front.

Light the torch of freedom: how the advertising man Edward Bernays taught women to smokeEdward Bernays a few years before his death

Edward Bernays died in 1995 at the age of 103. Since the 60s, he left commerce and took up propaganda in politics. In many ways, it was Bernays ' work that shaped the modern view of Western civilization with its advantages and disadvantages. He turned advertising into a science and proved that the most important thing is not the news itself, but how it is conveyed to people.

Keywords: Bad habits | Smoking | Marketing | Psychology | Usa | Feminism

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