More Than Luck: Lucky Strike Advertising During the George Washington Hill Years: 1926-1946

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From the time George Hill assumed the presidency of the American Tobacco Company in 1926 until his death in 1946, the company spent more money advertising Lucky Strikes than had ever before been spent on a single product. During Hill's tenure, Americans bought more than 100 billion Lucky Strikes annually. Hill's carefully engineered and innovative advertising campaigns integrated print, radio, public relations, and other forms of advertising to great success in the 1920s and 1930s as the company sought out a mass audience. By World War II, however, the company changed strategies as it increasingly diversified its advertisements to reflect new conceptions of audience segmentation. This abandonment of a "great mass audience" approach paralleled changes in other cultural industries in this period, demonstrating the significance of advertising as part of the mid-century cultural landscape and emphasizing the genius of the ATC's marketing.