The history of Marlboro cigarettes offers insight into one of the great advertising and marketing success stories of the 20th century. An English brand, Marlboro cigarettes were marketed from the Victorian era (1850-1900) through the first half of the 1900's (to 1950) as a women's cigarette, with tag-lines that aimed to appeal to female smokers, such as "Marlboro - Mild As May."
In 1955, two transformations occurred which would change Marlboro cigarettes forever: the addition of an integrated cellulose filter, and the re-invention of the market through the debut of the "Marlboro Man" advertising campaign. The original Marlboro Man campaign featured close-up images of all kinds of men using the product -- the cowboy was one, along with lifeguards, sailors, drill sergeants, construction workers, gamblers and other types suggestive of a masculine spirit and rugged independence.
By 1963, the "Marlboro Country" campaign began. This campaign focused on the cowboy and his symbolic canon: boots, hats, horses, and western landscapes. By the mid-1980s, Marlboro was the best-selling brand in the United States and the world, and the Marlboro cowboy was among the most widely recognized of American cultural symbols. Sold in over 180 nations, both the cigarettes and the ad campaign have become a global phenomena. Marlboro cigarettes are the number one selling cigarette in over 40 separate countries around the world!!