Who Wants to Live Forever?

Marlboro does! The history of Marlboro cigarettes can be traced back to the year 1847 in the country, England. Marlboro cigarettes got its name from a street called Marlborough in London (where the first Marlboro factory was established). The brand was owned by a company called Philip Morris which was largely an England based cigarette company. In the year 1902, Philip Morris the company, created its subsidiary, Phillip Morris USA, in the city of New York. It may come as a surprise to some that when Marlboro was launched in 1924 in the US, the brand was actually targeted at women as its main consumers. The slogan that introduced the Marlboro cigarettes to the fairer sex of the United States was “Mild as May”.

However; later on due to socio-political events on the globe, the market for Marlboro cigarettes during WW II started falling, but reappeared in the 1950′s with a focus on promoting filtered cigarettes. During those times, the majority of cigarettes were non-filtered, thus, Marlboro’s creation of filtered cigarettes appealed to the public awareness of a healthy life. Afterward, a substantial change of advertising was made; all the subtle allusions to women disappeared and the company started to promote Marlboro as a man’s cigarette.

The Marlboro advertising campaign is said to be one of the most brilliant ad campaigns ever made. It transformed a feminine campaign, with the slogan “Mild as May”, into one that was macho and masculine, and which led to significant and immediate effects on sales. By 1957, sales represented a 300% increase within two years.

Now, almost 100 years later since its launch as a woman’s cigarette in 1924, the Marlboro brand is still one of the top-selling brands of Philip Morris and is known globally as the premium brand of cigarettes. Moreover, after so many years of being in the market, Marlboro is STILL in its maturity phase. Irrespective of rising cigarette taxes, increasing cigarette prices and recessionary times, Marlboro cigarettes enjoys its popularity throughout the world and is not affected by any of the above factors. In fact, besides the fact that it is still in its maturity phase; trends show that Marlboro will continue to ride the top for some more years to come. So how can a company that has been operating for so many years remain so successful?

Simply, the leading cause to Marlboro’s success is innovation; even with the success of its main product, red Marlboro, the company over the years kept introducing new tobacco blends and flavors to its customers.  For instance, it is available in different kinds such as, menthol, and clove flavored cigarettes. It is also available in different blends such as, Marlboro Light, Black and Gold.

So the question remains, with so much competition, and after so many years, how can Marlboro remain in its maturity phase rather than start declining? Also, is Marlboro’s success attributed to tobacco being an inelastic product or because people just can’t get enough of that sweet blend? 🙂

5 thoughts on “Who Wants to Live Forever?

  1. I think the answer to your question is within the question itself, the success of Marlboro being an inelastic product, and because people just can’t get enough of that sweet blend. Moreover continuous development and introducing different flavors and products to reach further market segments kept the business, not to mention the image and the well- known reputation of this company in the industry as being on the top for a long time. I remember in Bahrain when they started raising the prices of cigarettes everyone was complaining and that they will quit smoking but did that actually happen? I’ll leave the answer to you.

  2. Interesting question Layal. I believe what kept Marlboro successful in business for over 100 years is the secret ingredient in their product: Tobacco! Regardless the health issues, Marlboro are selling a products that is addictive and became a part of the many people daily routine, not to forget that smoking is a worldwide social habits. Marlboro succeeded turning their products from luxury to necessity.

    With all these advantages, Marlboro will continue to rule, and their long-term customers will pass it to the upcoming generations.

  3. I believe they have been so successful over the years because Marlboro has been around for so long. Them keeping up with innovation has helped them a lot, but Marlboro has set the image for the all American cigarette. Whenever someone thinks of cigarettes Marlboro is one of the first brands to come to the consumers head. Besides the fact that nicotine is highly addictive, Marlboro has done a fantastic job with marketing their product to the consumer. I used to smoke myself, and the first brand I smoked was Marlboro also!

  4. I think some of Marlboro’s greatest marketing and advertising has been through celebrity endorsements and placements in the media. The media gave Marlboro an edge because they were able to use “cool” and interesting celebrities to promote their products, which would make people who wanted to be cool and interesting purchase them. Nowadays, things have changed. Although consumers are addicted, there are less people purchasing. A reason for Marlboro’s slowed consumption may be that “celebrities” marketing their products today aren’t cool and interesting, many are the consumers who are dealing with the negative effects of cigarette smoking. I think that Marlboro, as well as other cigarette brands will start declining.

  5. Marlboro is successful for one reason and one reason only: it constantly realizes and exploits the fact that it must innovate and reinvent itself to prosper. The article hits the nail on the head with that point. It doesn’t matter that its products are harmful and its message can be deceitful…in fact, the way Marlboro is doing well with such harmful products is testament to their strategy. This is a company that knows itself. So, in answer to the question: the product is almost irrelevant, peoples’ desires are irrelevant, and Marlboro will remain in its maturity phase so long as it continually reinvent itself into something new.

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