Vintage Ads: ‘The First Truly Feminine Cigarette’

Would you like your lung cancer to be prettier and more feminine than that of the woman in the next bed over? Choose Eve cigarettes for cancer so dainty, you’ll hardly even feel your internal organs failing![tagbox tag="vintage ads"]

According to Wikipedia, the subtly named “Eves” were targeted at 1970s women who wanted to be “feminine” rather than “liberated, independent and modern,” because nothing sells a product like making women feel afraid they might be on the wrong side of a false dichotomy:

Within the USA, they were introduced in 1971 as competition for rival Philip Morris corporation’s Virginia Slims, a cigarette targeted at the growing women’s market. Virginia Slims, the world’s first cigarette marketed specifically to women were aimed at women who identified themselves as liberated, independent, and modern; Eves were aimed at women content to be feminine. Virginia Slims were always the more successful brand.

As hard as it is for me to get excited about a product that knowingly kills people, I can’t help being just a little bit proud of whichever Peggy Olsen out there predicted the world was ready for such an advertising campaign. As it turned out, more 1970s women wanted their cancer be liberated and independent than cute and girly. Hooray?

(Via World Of Wonder)

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    • Jane

      I find the tone of this writing utterly tasteless. To conflate smokers and cancer is not very accurate, and rude to both parties. Why would you give such a graphic description of cancer (“internal organs failing”) – you know that not all people who have cancer brought it on themselves, and would like the experience of their potential deaths to be mocked. And while we’re at it, the idea that smoking and subsequently getting cancer makes someone a reprehensible person worthy of public mockery is horrifically simplistic, and reveals a weakness for the anti-smoking PR hogwash telling us that smokers are BAD people. This is ludicrous. In the future, please be considerate of sick people and, well, people in general before jumping to condemn them or the way they will die.