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Encyclopedia > Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch!
A Tareyton magazine advertisement from 1965. In the famous campaign, people from all walks of life (in this example, two red-haired sisters) donned "black eyes" to demonstrate their willingness to "fight" instead of "switch" from the Tareyton brand.
A Tareyton magazine advertisement from 1965. In the famous campaign, people from all walks of life (in this example, two red-haired sisters) donned "black eyes" to demonstrate their willingness to "fight" instead of "switch" from the Tareyton brand.

"Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch!" is an enduring slogan which appeared in magazine, newspaper and television advertisements for Tareyton cigarettes from 1963 until 1981. It was the American Tobacco Company's most visible ad campaign in the 1960s and 1970s. Look up Slogan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A collection of magazines A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by advertising and/or purchase by readers. ... Advertising, generally speaking, is the promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas, usually performed by an identified sponsor. ... Tareyton is a brand of cigarettes manufactured by the American Tobacco Company. ... A cigarette will burn to ash on one end. ... The American Tobacco Company was founded in 1890 by J. B. Duke as a merger between a number of tobacco manufacturers including Allen and Ginter. ...



The slogan was created by James Jordan of the BBDO advertising agency.[1] The first print advertisement appeared in Life magazine on October 11, 1963.[2] The advertisements would appear solely in print between 1963 and 1966. In 1966, the first television advertisements with the slogan aired. Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn is an advertising agency formed by merging of BDO (Barton, Durstine & Osborn) and Batten Co. ... An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising (and sometimes other forms of promotion) for their clients. ... Edward Steichen portrait of Greta Garbo. ...

The target of the campaign was to create a sense of loyalty amongst Tareyton smokers. That led to the "rather fight than switch" campaign, in which the makeup the models wore made it seem as if they were sporting black eyes, presumably earned in battles with smokers of other cigarettes. [3]

Like another slogan of the day, "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should," the Tareyton campaign proved to be mildly controversial as the saying was not grammatically correct. However, unlike its predecessor, the stigma surrounding the grammar faux-pas was rather minor. A Winston cigarette advertisement from 1971, noting the qualms about the grammar used in the former Winston tastes good like a cigarette should advertisements. ... Grammar is the study of rules governing the use of language. ...

Television advertisements

Each commercial would begin in a predictable manner; the protagonist would do something that would be considered gutsy (in one commercial, an old woman rocked sternly in her chair on her porch, while the rest of her development was being razed to make room for a condominium). In each commercial, the protagonist would say "Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch!", usually only showing their side profile to the camera. After uttering the slogan, viewers would see the smoker's face, which had a noticeable "black eye" (in reality makeup), proving their willingness to fight for what they believed in, whether it be their tough decision du jour, or their choice to smoke Tareyton cigarettes. In the aforementioned example, the old woman's fighting spirit won out, and her house remained where it was, although the condominium was built alarmingly close to her property. Her son came to visit her, and it was revealed that he was a Tareyton smoker as well — he also had a black eye.[4] A condominium is a form of housing tenure. ... A 21-month old with a black eye after falling 2 meters (6. ... Cosmetics or makeup are substances to enhance the beauty of the human body, apart from simple cleaning. ...

Later years

A Tareyton magazine advertisement from 1980. The new Light version showed the models sporting white makeup instead.
A Tareyton magazine advertisement from 1980. The new Light version showed the models sporting white makeup instead.

Due to the success of the advertisement, Tareyton briefly enjoyed robust sales, which put them in the Top 10 of all American cigarette brands, in the mid to late 1960s.[5] The brand declined somewhat, to thirteenth, when the slogan waned in 1979. [6]

In 1971, radio and television advertisements for tobacco products were banned from American broadcasting stations, and Tareyton's television jingles ended. However, after the ban, the slogan continued to be used in magazines and newspapers, due to the slogan and the name recognition the brand received.

In 1976, the American Tobacco Company, which made Tareyton cigarettes, introduced Tareyton Light cigarettes. In the new advertisements, men and women sported "white eyes," with an updated slogan: "Us Tareyton smokers would rather light than fight!" The two slogans would be used to sell the two separate variations until 1981, when market value declined.

This slogan was notable in that it was the final slogan used for the Tareyton brand. Declining sales led to an end of advertising the brand, and Tareytons slowly left store shelves, although they can still be purchased online.

Cultural impact

The then-fresh slogan was adopted by supporters of Barry Goldwater during the 1964 campaign for the presidency. Goldwater appeared to have the nomination in hand as the primary season closed, but supporters of the moderate Republican William Scranton tried to mount a "Draft Scranton" challenge. "Goldwater Girls" (mostly adult women) were seen at Scranton events wearing bandages and sporting signs saying "We'd rather fight than switch!".[7] Barry Goldwater Barry Morris Goldwater (January 1, 1909 – May 29, 1998) was a half-Jewish-American politician credited as the leader who sparked the resurgence of the American conservative movement with his 1964 campaign for President. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Scranton made the cover of Time in 1962 William Warren Scranton (born July 19, 1917) is a former U.S. Republican Party politician. ...

Martin Luther King, Jr. parodied the slogan to make a point regarding the Vietnam War in a 1967 speech. King was quoted as saying, "..Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight! Matter of fact, it's safe to say that they would rather switch than fight!" The audio clip of his speech was later used as the prelude to the 1989 Public Enemy single "Fight the Power." Martin Luther King redirects here. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) United States of America South Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Peoples Republic of China Strength ~1,200,000 (1968) ~420,000 (1968) Casualties South Vietnamese dead: 230... A Prelude is something that serves as a preceding event or introduces what follows after it. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Public Enemy, also known as PE, is a seminal hip hop group known for their politically charged lyrics, criticism of the media and active interest in the concerns of the African American community. ... For the Isley Brothers song, see Fight the Power, Pt. ...

Famous "Tareyton fighters"

Many actors who would later become well-known for other reasons appeared in the Tareyton ads. Examples include future entrepreneur Martha Stewart, who appeared in a print ad,[8] and actor Lyle Waggoner, who was featured in a television commercial in 1966.[9] Martha Stewart (neé Kostrya, born August 3, 1941) is an American business magnate, entrepreneur, and homemaking advocate. ... Lyle Waggoner (born April 13, 1935 in Kansas City, Kansas) is an American actor best known for his television work in the 1970s. ...


  1. ^ '60s and '70s Tareyton ads. The Unswitchables. Burnt Offerings. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.
  2. ^ Campaign ad. Vintage and stuff. Vintage&stuff.com. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.
  3. ^ James J. Jordan, advertising sloganeer, dies at 73. New Your Times. NYTimes.com. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.
  4. ^ Tareyton campaign spot. Tareyton Advertisement (1968). TVparty.com. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.
  5. ^ Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation. Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch Campaign. Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.
  6. ^ History of Tobacco Corporation. The Historian. History Net. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.
  7. ^ Rick Perlstein (2002). Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus.
  8. ^ Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart bio. Academy of Achievement. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.
  9. ^ Lyle Waggoner Tareyton ad. Classic TV Ads. Margaret Hamilton. Retrieved on 2006-08-02.



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