Earlier we brought you R. J. Reynolds’ latest effort from what is left of their (or any tobacco company’s) ad department. Gone are the days of giant KOOL billboards along the highway and Joe Camel in every issue of Sports Illustrated. Hell, they even took the Winston out of NASCAR (not to mention the Flintstones). Regulation of tobacco advertising leaves companies hamstrung in efforts to recruit new customers. It goes further, forcing them to scare the shit out of current customers, all with money they used to spend making glamorous their vice.
Altria, Philip Morris at the time, managed to get their message across to a young man in Hawaii before regulations got to their current state, and it’s paying out in spades. In a playing field where tobacco companies can’t spend their way into mass media, Altria is joining the Obama camp—Yes We Can! Who needs Joe Fucking Camel when you have Barack Obama? The brass at Altria, is betting that tobacco is back, and are preparing for a wave of young kids in leather jackets all wanting Marlboro Reds, just like The President. There is even talk of going back to the pre-corporate-facelift Philip Morris moniker.
Money can’t buy an ad that good, and the Obama seal of approval didn’t cost a dime. A commemorative buy 2 get 1 free bundle of Marlboro Reds, featuring a Presidential Warrant designed by Obama’s administration, kicks off the partnership between The President and Marlboro—and will hit select markets in time for inauguration weekend. Said an insider for the tobacco giant “R.J. Reynolds had Roosevelt, WWII, and even the secretary of the Treasury in the 40’s, but we learned our lesson and scored Reagan, and now the coup de gras. Things look good.”