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DIGO Brands The Marlboro Cowboy

If you ever doubt the power of what we brand builders do, pause briefly to consider the Marlboro Cowboy.

This image helped to addict millions. This after it transformed a minor women’s cigarette brand into a legendary masculine number one brand smoked by men and women alike.

Consider what that word “Cowboy” means to the American psyche, and indeed to the world. This is branding and image-making par excellence.

COW – a large, dumb, female, herbivorous, grazing, milk-giving animal.

BOY – a minor, youthful, pre-pubescent, subordinate, pre-man.

Yet, put these two short insults together and you’ve got the archetype of American manliness and independence. That’s branding!

CIGARETTES – short, noxious, smelly, poisonous, expensive, cancer sticks…

…loved the world over as symbols of manly independence. A significant factor holding down the average life expectancy while raising our national healthcare costs. That’s branding too.

We who have trained our talents to wield this power to influence can take both inspiration and pause from the legacy of the Marlboro Cowboy. Let’s use our powers to promote the good guys and the wholesome things.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Today, the brand is more powerful than the truth. Use with caution.