Marlboro Man. Studium dla niepalących

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Marek Hendrykowski


The long history of the “Marlboro Country” and “Marlboro Man” advertising campaigns (1954- 1989) represents the renewability of a certain image which was perfectly designed and meticulously thought out. This history constitutes a well-developed “syntagma” which consists of not one but many different, individual versions of a message. What is important is that the administrators and creators of these advertisements succeeded in keeping a semiotic balance between the personal characteristics of a particular model and the image schema which this model was to maintain. Each of these versions sustained the image that had once been created (stability of a cliché) and at the same time featured different representatives of this image and presented them in ever new ways that refreshed the previously achieved expression (dynamics of innovation). This was a multi-stage project which had been planned to “last long”. The “shape” of the Marlboro Man’s model face is a kind of personal testimony to the excellence of the product offered. The representatives of this image kept changing, but its matrix, which made these representatives similar to one another and instantly recognizable as part of a well-known stereotype, turned out to be surprisingly stable and unchanging over several decades.


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