From the Vault #3: Crocodile Dundee promotes cigarettes in front of a live Orchestra

Sometimes with great ads it’s not necessarily the ad itself that is entertaining but the time and context in which it existed. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in Cigarette advertising. For most people in the world and in particular those born after the 1980’s, seeing a cigarette in advertising let alone someone enjoying and promoting one, is hard to believe.

In a country like Australia, where all cigarette advertising is banned including packaging, it’s intriguing to look back and see what was once permitted. This 1970’s ad comes from Australian cigarette brand Winfield and features local Australian celebrity Paul Hogan, who many people may know from the film Crocodile Dundee.

The spot begins with a live orchestra that plays as Hogan enters. As he introduces himself he encourages the conductor to continue playing some ‘mood music’. Espousing the benefits of Winfield tobacco, he finally lights and enjoys one himself. While the ad is entertaining based on it’s subject matter, the music and the addition of an orchestra also play an important role. The orchestra is powerful and emotive and brings a touch of class and elegance to a product seen (even then) as dirty or unhealthy. While the impressive visual element of an orchestra and conductor help to add an air of legitimacy to what was at the time a fledgling brand.

Watch here:

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