Well I was absent for a few days during this semester, but one of my absences was caused by quick trip out to real life Marlboro Country…
Del Rio, Texas & Bracketville, Texas.
Bracketville is famous for being the location where they built the set and filmed the famed John Wayne movie The Alamo. The set still stands to this day, and 45 minutes to about an hour away from it you will arrive at Del Rio. Del Rio is an area where retired oil money people, lawyers, and high-ranking military servicemen go to retire. Both areas are secluded and known for being places filled with Wild West History involving territory scuffles with Mexico. This area inspires me because it is where many westerns were filmed, and if it were not for those infamous movies, the Marlboro Cowboy ads would not have a backbone.
If you hop in your car, about close to 2-3 hours away you will arrive at Big Bend national park, which was protected by FDR as one of his New Deal efforts to conserve and create park jobs.
All the locations photographed happen to be MILES AND MILES UPON MILES from each other, so if you run out of cigarettes…stopping by the “nearest” gas station won’t be an easy task.
Also, these areas are untouched by a lot of grubby corporations, the land was purchased by all the filthy rich people in order to stay in-tact & keep them secluded. The people who live in these areas are big on cleaning up after yourself, and what I mean is that even though these people may smoke cigarettes, they pick the butt up and throw it away in a trash can. I mean who could blame them for wanting to protect this beautiful land?
I went to out here the first or second weekend of class, just to visit my grandma and escape. I took so many pictures that it took me a while to go through the ones that I thought would actually be useful for the project. Then after I chose a set, I had to photo-edit them. I wanted to make sure that you as the viewer were equally as stunned by these images as I was stunned when I was there in person.
This area is the real Marlboro Country, this is the Americana we are looking for. I made sure to keep one prominent element in all the pictures…and that element is the sky.
This post ties into my idea that I had discussed earlier about Marlboro creating travel guides & also creating a “Thank You for Smoking” guide, which imitates Jaguar’s Great Drives.
So for this installation I went on a very long adventure…in the countryside (clearly it took more than 45 minutes of effort to get out here). Now I chose to go out into the middle of bumfuck to prove a point; one would not really take a normal cigarette out to a heavily forested area. Cigarette butts run the risk of not fully going out & catching the rest of nature on fire. Now we have “fire-safe” cigarettes but those aren’t foolproof and not to mention, if you leave your cigarette butt out in the wild I am sure one of Mother Nature’s creatures would snack on it. Leaving the poor animal with a nicotine kick.
My goal is to show that the Marlboro Sky cigarette is not only safer for you, but it also is safe for nature and the atmosphere surrounding you. Birds don’t have to stuff their lungs while they inhale your heavy smoke.
Not to mention, the countryside is home to people who ride horses…who else rides horses? COWBOYS. It is a sort of spin on “Marlboro Country.” So we touch base with the original Marlboro idea but we don’t get too carried away with it, I am not going to take you to a honky tonk but I will most certainly take you for an adventure where you can enjoy your cigarette while staring at the beautiful rugged mountains.
Out adventure takes place at the Middleburg Goodstone Inn & Estate.
This estate is filled with many manor homes that span from the late 1700’s up until the 1930’s. Because of the age of these buildings most of them do not allow indoor cigarette smoking, they also do not allow outdoor smoking because the cigarette butts will harm the environment. One thing it does say though? Electronic cigarettes allowed regardless. People who stay here at the estate must sign a compliancy form agreeing to the terms of the grounds, and there is a section that discusses smoking and the type of cigarettes allowed. Marlboro Sky smokers would thrive here.
One could leave their little rental manor and head over to the garden to pick morning strawberries while enjoying a Marlboro Sky cigarette. Even my dog approved of the place (only because of the strawberry patch).
What really makes Goodstone unique and tie into the Marlboro Sky cigarette is the fact that is a place that our clients would like. You can easily imagine a cleaned up rebel taking their time here on the farm. Which is what Marlboro Sky essentially is when compared to the Marlboro classic cigarettes. Marlboro Sky is the refined rebel who still keeps up with all the things that go under the category of Americana, but yet holds keeps it up with a newer and more streamlined sense of adventure.
I think it is also important to show our clients that technology is actually not hindering nature, in this case, it is helping keep it clean.
Oh and on my last note…
They have llamas here.
So for work I had to take a weekend trio to the city, and I definitely feel like New York City falls under the category of Marlboro Country. I know you won’t be rounding up cattle here, and you may not see many cowboys, but the city offers a different kind of “rugged” that you only see in America.
I think the Marlboro Sky brand embodies the urban type of “rugged,” while the classic Marlboro brand embodied more of the countryside aspect of the word rugged. Cities are always more technologically friendly, which would make total sense to push this electronic cigarette to those who dwell in concrete jungles. That does not mean we have to let go of all aspects that make up the Marlboro brand.
I also think that the New York City skyline is a great selling point for the whole “sky” aspect, because the city is kind of a dirty place, so why not help clean it up by smoking a cleaner cigarette that leaves no butt behind.
Just look at that shade of blue! Especially when it’s lit up by all the lights; it kind of embodies certain aspects of the cigarette.
On a random note, I got to visit a theatre & movie prop set and found this blue zebra chilling in one of the storage units.
This zebra kind of reminded me of the Sky brand, all other electronic cigarettes are like regular black and white Zebras. What if we show a picture of zebras standing out in nature with one Zebra that is completely blue like this one…it would be the Marlboro Sky zebra. It could say “stand out” or maybe something silly even. Something that pokes fun of Marlboro by itself, it could say “rebel without a cause.” I think thats pretty goofy, a blue zebra? Calling himself a rebel without a cause? It’s a new direction but it still could work.
So if you follow Jaguar on Facebook or any of their other social networking sites/blogs every couple of weeks they come out with a segment called “Great Drives.”
These segments take you to various parts of the world & show you how wonderful their roads are for your Jaguar to grace. From Big Bend National Park, Texas to the winding back roads up in the Italian Mountains, Jaguar has got all the “Great Drives” in the world covered.
I really like this idea & in my earlier posts I mentioned how cigarettes and cars have a lot of similarities in the sense that they go with a certain image of a person and their lifestyle.
So my take on “Great Drives” would be to give our clients great places to smoke. Granted, most places in the world are no longer smoker-friendly and it is harder to find areas to sit down and enjoy a generic cigarette but an e-cigarette? That is a completely different story. It is an item that will let you get away with smoking virtually anywhere.
So for the first segment of Marlboro Country we take you to the VMFA garden. This is just my first post for the segment so I hope to let this segment evolve & find more elaborate places. The VMFA is a good start and it is truly a lovely place to enjoy your clean Marlboro Sky e-cigarette.