Friday, November 26, 2010
In America, back in the days when we had cigarette ads on television, you could even find Fred Flintstone selling Winston cigarettes. How many people were conditioned from an early age to smoke by seeing their favourite cartoon hero lighting up a Winston? Banning those ads was a good idea.
In Germany, there was a cartoon character named "HB Mannchen" (Little HB man") who from 1957 to 1984 used to get into comically stressful situations and find relief with a cigarette. conveniently for the producers of HB cigarettes, it was always an HB cigarette that calmed the HB man down. "HB Mannchen" commercials ran from 1957 to 1984, although at the end of their run, they only appeared in movie theatres. They reinforced the idea that you reached for a cigarette to calm your nerves, a notion that makes sense only if you are addicted to nicotine.
The idea of using cartoons to push tobacco is awful. Despite that, these ads are classic. Advertising is a battle for the mind of the consumer, and I always enjoy seeing how such battles are waged. "HB Man is a classic of this genre. Here are a few of the ads.
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