Over the last two decades, the government has been placing numerous restrictions on tobacco companies and the sale of the substance. From these restrictions, consumers have seen an increase in tobacco prices skyrocketing over the last ten years with no end in sight to these price increases. Many of the price increases have not been from tobacco companies themselves, but from government increases in taxes on the substance, which has caused prices to quadruple in some states. However, tobacco companies are fighting back by issuing a number of discount coupons to their loyal customers in an attempt to offset the governmental tax hikes. Phillip Morris, one of the oldest tobacco companies in the United States, has been issuing coupons to their customers by mail for over ten years and have many special offers for the consumer to participate in.
Brief History of Phillip Morris
Marlboro cigarettes made their debut in the United States in 1902 when the London based cigarette manufacturer moved its base of operations to the US. The Marlboro brand would be mass marketed in every major city within the US and become the leading cigarette smoked by females by 1924. The company gained acclaim all throughout the early 1900’s until the public lost interest just before WWII. During WWII, Camel and Chesterfield cigarettes became the smoke of choice for Americans due to the fact that they were given to soldiers during the war. When the soldiers returned, these brands took off. However, shortly after the war, smoking was then linked to lung cancer, which would make some people reticent to continue smoking. Aware of this, Marlboro then manufactured the first filtered cigarette, claiming that this new cigarette was far healthier than other brands that remained filter-less. This would establish Marlboro back to the top of the ranks as the leading brand of cigarettes smoked in the United States. After their re-establishment as a top cigarette provider, Marlboro would embark on one of the largest and widely distributed marketing campaigns that has ever been used for a particular product. It would start off in the United States, and by the end of the twentieth century, billboards for Marlboro cigarettes could be seen in some of the most remote places in the world.
With the onset of the rugged cowboy mantra during the 1950’s and 1960’s, Marlboro would begin to capitalize on this national trend by depicting Marlboro smokers as cowboys that were “manly men.” This persona developed by the marketers of Phillip Morris would go on to become one of the most widely used marketing schemes in US history, which is still seen in the few places that allow cigarette companies advertising spots. The cowboys depicted on billboards, televisions, magazine ads, and other places where advertisements were allowed were known as the Marlboro Men, which would even inspire a movie title in the 1990’s. However, with continuous research throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, it was found that many cigarette companies had been less than truthful with its research on health issues and smoking, and further restrictions would be placed on these companies. Eventually, cigarette advertising would be stripped of almost every possible placement, where as of the present one will virtually never see any advertisements from cigarette and tobacco companies at all. Some of the earlier sponsorships that Marlboro would attain were:
• Indy Cars
• Formula One Racing
• Kentucky Derby
These are just a few of the sports that Marlboro would become affiliated with, and virtually every sport had some form of advertising that Phillip Morris would have some participation in. Although one cannot see any of these famous advertising schemes in the United States, there are many countries where Marlboro can still run these historical marketing campaigns.
Another very popular and successful marketing campaign would emerge when Marlboro began placing small bar codes on the side or their cigarette packs. These small tabs could be torn off and saved for future redemption for prizes. Collecting Marlboro Miles would become a popular trend during the 1990’s. The prizes started off fairly simple in the form of ash trays, back packs, t-shirts, and a few larger items such as foosball and pool tables. However, with different restrictions being placed on rewarding people for smoking, the more elaborate prizes such as trips and cruises were awarded through a different redemption system. This system too, would be restricted to the point where Marlboro Miles would become a thing of the past, leaving those who saved their Miles to have useless bags of tabs.
Cigarette Restrictions and Big Tobacco
During the 1990’s, there were many states in the US that would ban together and bring suit against most of the tobacco companies in the United States. The suit was based upon research findings that showed most large tobacco companies knew that the substance caused health risks, including cancer, and deliberately hid these facts from consumers. Due to these findings, tobacco companies would suffer one of the most damaging lawsuits in US history. Not only would the companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, but also be forced to restrict all advertising and eventually change the names of their products. The name changes would make sure that no cigarette pack could be named “lights” or any other name that would insinuate a more healthy form of smoking.
Persistence and Present Day
After suffering at the hands of the government, Phillip Morris and the Marlboro brand would recover and begin creating a successful campaign for the future. With the advent of the Internet, Marlboro would take its add campaigns online and form their own website. From this website, loyal smokers can access the page where they can apply for discount coupons sent through the mail for Marlboro brand cigarettes. These coupons may consist of “$1 Off,” to “Buy One Get One Free” coupons as well. On their website, one will also find information on the many new products that the company will be premiering over the next few months. The website is great for people who need to take off the bite of the taxes imposed on cigarettes. Although the companies have had to undergo many changes over the last decade, most are still functioning and coming out with new products for their customers. Marlboro continues to offer its loyal customers many new products as well as both mailer and online discounts for its products.
There are many other websites that smokers can find that will offer a number of coupons for Marlboro cigarettes that can be printed off or sent through mail. Smokers must be at least 18 years of age to participate in these promotions and usually submitting an email address or physical address is required. However, most of these websites will have the coupons in the mail shortly after sign up.