Virile Brand Families

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Virile Brand Families

This 1976 marketing research report discusses the psychological needs of smokers of "virile brand" Marlboro and Camel cigarettes. The report states,

Smoking plays an important role in the lives of the smokers of Virile brands. It is a behavior which communicates strong signals to their peers. For these smokers the act of smoking makes a statement about virility. It says, "I'm big, I'm tough, and

I'm mature.

The report States Marlboro and Camel brands "share connotations of downscale masculinity."

The paper discusses the male need to both fit into the crowd and individuate, and how the cigarette assists with this function:

This image of normality in Virile brands is also relevant to the Virile smoker's desire for peer group acceptance. The act of smoking itself symbolizes rebellion, and hence individuality. The choice of a Virile brand enables the smoker to conform with his selected group of rebels.


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