Scientific tests – confirmed by three independent consulting laboratories – prove Lucky Strike is mildest of six major brands tested.

And if the find­ings of these “inde­pen­dent lab­o­ra­to­ries” isn’t enough you can believe movie star Janet Blair when she says: “I enjoy the mild, smooth taste of Lucky Strike.”

Read­ers of the day knew Janet Blair – she endorsed many prod­ucts – but these inde­pen­dent lab­o­ra­to­ries are anoth­er mat­ter. They aren’t iden­ti­fied. Nor are the six major brands test­ed. But two endorse­ments in a sin­gle adver­tise­ments! From sci­en­tists and a movie star. You’ve just have to believe them. This is real truth in advertising!

It was com­mon for cig­a­rette com­pa­nies to cite so-called sci­en­tif­ic tests to sup­port the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ claims. There’s a 1939 adver­tise­ment for Camels in our Print­ing Times that claims: “Cig­a­rettes were com­pared recent­ly … six­teen of the largest-sell­ing brands … under the search­ing tests of impar­tial sci­en­tists.”  Well, you have to believe that, don’t you! Six­teen com­pet­i­tive brands; search­ing tests; impar­tial sci­en­tists. Fol­lowed by this seem­ing­ly sci­en­tif­ic mes­sage L.S./M.F.T

Smok­ers of the day accept­ed that “There’s nev­er a rough puff in a Lucky! So round, so firm, so ful­ly packed – so free and easy on the draw.”

Lucky Strike advertisement featuring movie star Janet Blair
This advertisement appeared on the back page of Collier’s Magazine, July 29,1950, a time when photographs were displacing drawings, when engravers and printers were acquiring skills in reproducing photographs in print. This advertisement is also notable in that the photograph of Ms. Blair has been superimposed on the coastal scene.

Once you accept the so-called scientific tests above
it’s easy to accept the headline/subhead in this
Lucky Strike advertisement from a 1949 Saturday Evening Post!

Smoke a Lucky to feel your level best!


Luckies’ fine tobacco picks you
up when you are low . .  .calms
you down when you are tense!

It isn’t one of Luck­ies best adver­tise­ments! The mod­el in the retouched illus­tra­tion — today we would say it was Pho­to­shopped— isn’t iden­ti­fied although she has that Movie Star quality.

Her image is close cropped and super­im­posed on the com­pos­ite illus­tra­tion. Absurd­ly, she is smok­ing a cig­a­rette as she hur­tles down the moun­tain side on a sled.

Lucky Sriike advertisement headlined "Smoke a Lucky to feel your level best."

The copy is rep­e­ti­tious, repeat­ing the head­line and the sub­head and the copy isn’t any more cred­i­ble than the smoke from the cig­a­rette in the model’s hand.
What is “lev­el”?

The head­lines are com­bined and restat­ed to read “Luck­ies’ fine tobac­co puts you on the right lev­el – the Lucky  lev­el — to feel your lev­el best, do your lev­el best.”

This is fol­lowed by incor­po­rat­ing the prod­uct slo­gan into the next paragraph:

That’s why it’s impor­tant for you to remem­ber that LUCKY STRIKE MEANS FINE TOBACCO  — mild, ripe, light tobac­co that makes a thor­ough­ly enjoy­able smoke.

Now it is back to the ubiquous endorse­ments. This time it isn’t scientists.

No won­der more inde­pen­dent tobac­co experts—auctioneers, buy­ers and ware­house­men— smoke Lucky Strike reg­u­lar­ly than smoke the next two lead­ing brands combined.

The copy then repeats the sub­head and calls for action by the readers:

“Light up a Lucky! Luck­ies’ fine tobac­co picks you up when you’re low, calms you down when you are tense. So get on the Lucky lev­el where it’s fun to be alive. Get a car­ton of Luck­ies and get start­ed today

printers devil

 Vin­tage Ad Brows­er dis­plays many cig­a­rette and tobac­co adver­tise­ments dat­ing back to the 1800s

The Guardian news­pa­per a decade ago had this to say about smoking. 

In 1950s Amer­i­ca cig­a­rette smok­ing was the epit­o­me of cool and glam­our. Hol­ly­wood icons such as James Dean and Humphrey Bog­a­rt were nev­er with­out one. Screen beau­ties such as Audrey Hep­burn and Mar­lene Diet­rich made smok­ing look sen­su­al and sophis­ti­cat­ed. Even a future pres­i­dent — Ronald Rea­gan — was hand­ed free packs of Chester­field dur­ing his B‑movie days. By the late 1950s around half of the pop­u­la­tion of indus­tri­alised nations smoked — in the UK up to 80% of adults were hooked. The prod­uct was cheap, legal and social­ly acceptable.