In the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising campaign for Tareyton Cigarettes upset grammarians, teachers and others. “Us Tareyton Smokers Would Rather Fight Than Switch,” the ad copy proclaimed. The accompanying pictures showed smokers with a black eye.
In the late 70s, when Tareyton introduced a light cigarette brand, the copy became “Us Tareyton Smokers Would Rather Light Than Fight.” The black eyes were replaced with a white patch in the same shape.
This was a long way from how the cigarette was marketed in the early part of the 20th century, as seen in this example from the 1918 Seattle Times. To begin with, Tareyton had a first name—Herbert! And the tag line was “There’s something about them you’ll like.” There was a centered portrait, presumably of Herbert himself. He wears a top hat and suit, has a monocle in his right eye, carries a walking stick and, of course, smokes a cigarette. He’s an urbane gentleman out for the evening. “Twenty for a Quarter” completed the copy. Smoke Herbert Tareytons, the ad seems to say, and you too can be a gentleman.
Automotive sales tracker R. L. Polk & Co. recently announced that the Ford Focus was the best-selling passenger car in the world in 2012. Impressive!
By contrast, Ford Motor Company’s ill-fated Edsel, sold for the 1958-1960 model years, is a dark icon of product failure even today. Ford sunk $250 million into Edsel development; what on earth went wrong?
In 1948, Henry Ford II, Ford’s president and son of previous Ford president Edsel Ford, formed a committee to look into the viability of a new car in the expanding medium-priced segment of the automotive market. General Motors, by far the largest of the Big Three auto makers, had Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick as entries in the medium-priced field, while Chrysler Corporation had Dodge, De Soto, and Chrysler. Ford had only Mercury.