Lucky Strike Cigarettes
Lucky Strike Cigarettes
Lucky Strike Cigarettes | Cigarettes | Discount Cigarettes | Tobacco News
The brand was introduced by R.A. Patterson of Richmond, Virginia, in 1871 as a 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. Because of this different manufacturing process, Lucky Strike cigarettes are said to have a unique and distinctive flavor. The message "L.S.M.F.T." ("Lucky Strike means fine tobacco") was introduced on the package in the same year.
In 1935, ATC began to sponsor Your Hit Parade, featuring North Carolina tobacco auctioneer Speed Riggs. The weekly radio show's countdown catapulted the brand's success and would remain popular for 25 years. The shows capitalized on the tobacco auction theme and each ended with the signature phrase "Sold, American".
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 smokers who had become an important consumer of tobacco products. The war effort became a convenient way to make the product more marketable while appearing as patriotic at the same time.
In 1978 and 1994, export rights and U.S. rights were purchased by Brown & Williamson. In 1996, filtered styles were launched in San Francisco, but it was not until 1999 that they were available all over the United States.
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 Strike has also introduced snus made by Lucky Strike.
In the early 1960s, Lucky Strike's television commercials featured the slogan "Lucky Strike separates the men from the boys...but not from the girls" set to music. When Luckies with filters were introduced in the mid-1960s, print and TV ads featured the singing slogan "Show me a filter cigarette that delivers the taste, and I'll eat my hat!" Print ads showed smokers wearing hats from which a "bite" was supposedly taken, whereas TV commercials broke away from the smoker who issued that challenge, then came back to show the same smoker wearing a hat with a "bite" out of it.
The Lucky Strike logo was created by famous industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who also created the logos for Exxon, Shell, AT&T and Coca Cola. The logo later became a prominent fixture in Pop-era artist Ray Johnson's collages.
Lucky Strike was the sponsor of Jack Benny's radio and television programs in the 1940s and 1950s on CBS. Among its popular advertising slogans on the show, as read by announcer Don Wilson, were "LSMFT: Lucky Strike means fine tobacco!" and "Be happy go lucky, be happy, smoke Lucky Strike!" Lucky Strike was also the major sponsor of the BAR Honda team (partly owned by British American Tobacco current owners of the brand) as well as Honda Racing F1 during their maiden year in Formula One before BAT decided to pull out of F1 altogether in the face of increasing anti- tobacco advertising legislation.
The cigarette brand is referenced in many modern games, anime, songs, books and film. Lucky Strike is patronized in the anime Cowboy Bebop, where character Faye Valentine is often seen with one in her mouth. The logo also makes prominent background appearances in that show. In the Tom Waits song "Kentucky Avenue", the first-person speaker references his or her "half pack of Lucky Strikes". Lucky Strikes were the cigarette of choice of Rep. Detective Steele in the Blade Runner video game, as well as in the stealth-based video games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake; Solid Snake's favorite brand of cigarettes are Luckies. In the manga GTO, Professor Onizuka is seen smoking Lucky Strikes.
The fictional character Mike Hammer, as written by Mickey Spillane, smoked Lucky Strike through all of the Hammer novels. Lucky Strike cigarettes were also featured in the Stephen King movie "Misery" where Paul Sheldon (as played by James Caan) would smoke one cigarette after writing a novel. They are widely smoked in the 2002 miniseries Band of Brothers and are mentioned in George Orwell's account of the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia.
One of the most famous TV smokers of the brand was Detective Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) from hit 80's TV cop show Miami Vice. Throughout the show until the 3rd season, when increasing health consciousness on the part of the American public made smoking less than popular, Crockett heavily smoked unfiltered Luckies. A packet featured prominently in the story 'Calderone's Demise' when Crockett dropped his packet and it was handed back to him.
In 2007 the Lucky Strike brand was featured as a subplot in the first episode of Mad Men, an American television drama about New York Madison Avenue advertising executives set in the early 1960s. An advertising executive struggles to come up with a new advertising campaign under the new stringent United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations about cigarette companies making health and safety claims about their tobacco products. He eventually comes up with the catch slogan "It's Toasted", the same slogan that was conceived in real life by Lucky Strike in 1917 but for purposes of dramatic license it is depicted as being created in 1960 to deflect consumer concerns about health issues.