The Real Marlboro Man Could Use Some Support

Luis Sinco/LA Times
The above image, taken on November 9, 2004 has since appeared in more than 150 publications worldwide. It’s also earned the subject, Blake Miller, the moniker “Marlboro Man.”
According to Rolling Stone:

Overnight, the photo made Miller an unwitting icon, a symbol of the indomitable spirit of U.S. troops, the heroism and virility of the American fighter. The New York Post ran the shot — later nominated for a Pulitzer Prize — under a simple headline: SMOKIN’.

It’s a sad story from there and has little to do with marketing, but my thought is this. How lucky did Philip Morris get with this free “ad”? What if Miller was a roll your own kind of guy?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.