The Marlboro Story
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
"How can you explain Marlboro's success except through the cowboy image?"1
- Philip Kotler in his book "According to Kotler" in 2005.
"Anti-smoking advocates may find it ironic that Philip Morris has become a more deft and efficient marketer as a result of the legal settlement that sought to hobble the cigarette makers."2
- BusinessWeek in 2005 commenting on Philip Morris'marketing strategies for Marlboro after the implementation of the Master Settlement Agreement.3
"At Philip Morris USA (PM USA), we demonstrate our commitment to responsibly marketing our products to adult smokers by developing and implementing programs that comply with both the letter and the spirit of the laws, rules, policies and agreements that govern our business practices."4
- Philip Morris in 2005.
Initially, the ad agency introduced the 'tattooed man'campaign which helped in repositioning Marlboro as a product targeted at men. During the 1960s, the ads began featuring cowboys,5 popularly known as 'the Marlboro man'. These ads went on to become a huge success in the US. By the end of 1960s, Marlboro became one of top selling brands in the US cigarette market.
1] "The World of Marketing According to Kotler," www.amanet.org, 2005.
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