13. A lost art

For our Point of View directive I was challenged to figure out what does a “thing think of Marlboro Sky?”

I sat down and made a list of objects who would possibly be affected by this new guy in town, I realized that no object would suffer more than the ashtray
Here is a picture of my ashtray, it is made out of marble and is from around the 1950-60’s. It has two notches that safely cradle lit cigarettes. When I started thinking about it, ashtrays are pretty elaborate and there is a sort of art to the design behind them. I mean even the one I own is pretty swanky, I got it at a high-end antique store where they carried other elaborate ashtrays.
Las Vegas ashtrays
Smoking was so common that some ashtrays carried more elaborate designs and were an important part of decorating a home. Ashtrays from Las Vegas are considered to be highly collectible, mostly because they carry the labels and designs from old hotels and casinos that no longer are in existence. A majority of those ashtrays are actually museum pieces and are seen as something representative of the era & the country.
Sadly ashtrays have been the victim of time & indoor/outdoor smoking restrictions. There is no point in having ridiculous designs on them anymore, but they are still practical for people who smoke. Simple ashtrays are still a thing and a necessity for people who smoke and would like to leave their cigarette remains in it’s designated place.
But now that cigarettes can be electronic, ashtrays are obsolete & their demise is inevitable.
So for my point of view I decided to reference Star Trek! Here we portray the Marlboro Sky cigarette as “The Borg” and that the ashtray would be wise to not attempt to fight back because as we all know…“resistance is futile.”
The Borg cigarette is shown moments before zapping the ashtray into smithereens; the ashtray has no escape and realizes its doom was inevitable.

*for those who aren’t into Star Trek here is a link that summarizes what I am referring to.

12. Cowboy killer…no literally, I am going to kill this image of the cowboy.

“Marlboro Sky brings out the cowboy in all of us in the most romantic sense & blazes new trails with technology”

The directive for this week is Point of View, so let me bring a new perspective that Marlboro seriously needs to consider.

What image do you get when you think of a cowboy?
An older white man just slinging back whiskey while chain smoking; he prefers the simple life and has a horrible condition where instead of making appropriate eye contact he instead squints his eyes as if passing judgement. (Clint Eastwood suffers from this condition).

Whats wrong with that image?
It is 2013, get a grip. Stop using this image of a white male to push a product that can be equally used by all races and genders. Not to mention, nowadays most authentic “cowboys” belong to the Tea Party and would find the Marlboro Sky e-cigarette to be a frivolous item. They would probably ask you in a Hank Hill voice why “regular cigarettes ain’t good enough for ya, I tell ya h’wut!” and real cowboys would probably be weirded out by the fact that you have to charge your cigarette. This would lead to cursing technology and blaming it on things such as socialism, gays, women, and Satan.
King of the Hill

But who will buy these cigarettes besides “the cowboy”?
I know for a fact that cigarette smoking is a habit that can be found amongst men & women of any color and any sexual orientation. The gay community holds a rather large amount of territory in the smoker population; out of all the gay males and females I know, a majority of them smoke some kind of blend of Marlboro’s.

In a post I put up earlier I mentioned how the most famous smokers in popular culture are women. I mentioned Sarah Jessica Parker, who in real life smokes Marlboro Reds but her character Carrie Bradshaw, from Sex and the City, chain smokes Marlboro lights. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…and hell hath no fury like a woman who needs a cigarette (especially if it’s that time of the month, let’s be realistic here).

Our President Barack Obama just recently quit smoking. He is seen smoking on and off at times though. What brand does he smoke?…
Marlboro Reds.
Barack Obama
During a 2004 interview with the Chicago Tribune Obama admitted to smoking the classic reds.
Now if you ask me, that is pretty American. Not only is he our President, but he is of mixed ethnic backgrounds and that is a better sell than an old wrinkled white cowboy standing in a field of cow manure.

Where do we go from here?
Yes, the cowboy is a classic American thing & it definitely has its roots with the brand but I do not feel like the cowboy or his “cool little brother” is the best direction to go in. The key is to keep that whole Americana feeling of the cowboy without using the actual cowboy.
We need to associate Marlboro with that classic familiar feel while slowly introducing this new electronic product. We need to show Marlboro Sky cigarettes are for people of a specific life-style, people who can afford this lifestyle. We need to realize that our economy has not been at it’s best, and trying to push this product to everybody may not be the best selling point.
We need to stick to those who can afford it, and we need to stick to diversity.

How can we sell the product without stereotyping?
In order to avoid situations of stereotyping we need to make sure that if we are going to show men and women in our advertisements, they need to be of all colors of the world. I know this is an American brand but there is a difference between America and ‘Merica
See the difference? One is bigoted and the other is not and it recognizes that this country is overflowing with colorful backgrounds.
Most advertisements need to focus on the lifestyle, and not have a specific character to go with it. Instead of showing the cowboy show somebody packing to go on a trip and underneath have some kind of tag line about not forgetting your cigarettes.
This image above is a sort of loose example of what we would be going for. We show a female with a suitcase, but we don’t really see her face and the perspective of this image is not about her…it is about the sky and the location where she is in. It makes you wonder where she is going and then it reminds you of where you have and have not been.
Anybody of any race and gender can go on a trip, whether it be business or vacation, gone for a month or for only a weekend. By removing the specific image of a specific person and just giving an image of a life event then the doors open to an audience that can relate to Marlboro Sky and see themselves using this product.