For many decades the Marlboro cigarettes have been on top of the nicotine industry. Even their oldest campaigns hinted that the cigarettes were a leader among other cigarette brands. Thus, the commercials provoked the illusion that the one who smoked the leader cigarettes would also become a leader.
The idea for the Marlboro man came in the distant 1949. Starting with $5 billion sales, the numbers increased to $20 billion in just two years. The popular cigarette brand became an absolute must for every macho man. The Marlboro man was a captain, a gunsmith, an athlete and later on – a cowboy. Since westerns and cowboys were a hit, the campaigns made the Marlboro cigarettes a real leader. The actors who have been playing in the numerous commercials, also gained popularity and success. However, their job and their smoking habits didn’t do them much favor.
Wayne McLaren, David McLean and Dick Hammer, three Marlboro Men, died of lung cancer. This earned the brand the nickname “Cowboy Killers” which is specifically what Marlboro Reds are called these days – killer cigarettes.