Forever Remembered: Eric Lawson… The Marlboro Man

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When it came to portraying the rugged western outdoors man who helped transform a pack of filtered cigarettes into the world’s most popular brand, Marlboro Man Eric Lawson was the real deal.

The Marlboro Man is a figure used in tobacco advertising campaign for Marlboro cigarettes. In the United States, where the campaign originated, it was used from 1954 to 1999. The Marlboro Man was first conceived by Leo Burnett in 1954. The image involves a rugged cowboy or cowboys, in nature with only a cigarette. The advertisements were originally conceived as a way to popularize filtered cigarettes, which at the time were considered feminine.

The Marlboro advertising campaign, created by Leo Burnett Worldwide, is said to be one of the most brilliant advertisement campaigns of all time. It transformed a feminine campaign, with the slogan “Mild as May”, into one that was masculine, in a matter of months. Although there were many Marlboro Men, the cowboy proved to be the most popular. This led to the “Marlboro Cowboy” and “Marlboro Country” campaigns.

Marlboro  is the largest selling brand of cigarettes in the world. It is made by Philip Morris USA (a branch of Altria) within the US, and by Philip Morris International (now separate from Altria) outside the US. It is well known for its billboard advertisements, magazine ads of the Marlboro Man, and its long associated history in the sponsorship of motorsport. RichmondVirginia is the location of the largest Marlboro cigarette manufacturing plant.


For three years in the late 1970s and early ’80s, Lawson portrayed one of the most iconic figures in both advertising and popular culture. And for the past several years, Lawson had spoken out fiercely about the hazards of smoking, doing a public service announcement for the American Cancer Society in the 1990s, years before he was able to bring himself to quit.

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2 Comments on "Forever Remembered: Eric Lawson… The Marlboro Man"

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I don’t smoke cigarettes, but I do know that The Marlboro Man is one of the most recognized icon in the world.


Thanks for the share