Don Draper had nothing to do with this:



Don Draper would have pointed out that the ad doesn’t really tell you why you should smoke Luckies. No one ever reaches for a pack because he saw an ad with disembodied cig-legs. Now, the Old Gold pack with the gams, that’s one thing, but there’s no sex here. No pleasure. No promise. Turn the sound off, and you could read it as some pagan ceremony where the Cigarette Priest himself is consumed by fire to satisfy the gods. Say, there’s a slogan – God, they satisfy. No, that’s been done.


The work that went into this spot! It’s obvious the cigs were attached at the top, which made them more stable, and I’m sure they employed buckets of mucilage to anchor them to the stage, but this must have been sheer hell to do. 

America may have only had 194,204 reefer fiends at the time, most of whom were in the Village, but rest assured they enjoyed this one immensely.


13 Responses to Evening Commercial Break

  1. Zoyx says:

    The dancing cigarettes make 3 appearances in my home brew music video… – may want to turn down the sound if you aren’t a fan of the electronic music. This is a very nice public domain snip if you want some dancing.

  2. Al Federber says:

    I wonder if magnets were involved?

  3. Liam says:

    Me, I’d compare them to Cialis commercials. We’ll find out what the damage it does to us later on, in the meantime, enjoy!!!!

  4. buzz says:

    I’m guessing replacement animation: There were several sets of cast or carved prop cigarette “legs” that were weighted down at their lower ends (you’ll note none of them ever leave the surface when they “step”). Real cigarettes wouldn’t have had the durability to stand up to hours of animation.

    Here’s an article on how George Pal used replacement animation in his Puppetoons:

  5. Ross Witman says:

    This Draper fellow might’ve argued that it wasn’t enough of a reason, but they work LS/MFT in several times. Presumably they thought it sufficient, given the brand recognition Luckies enjoyed by then. Figured they’d just be whimsical, I suppose–in fact, this isn’t really all that different from Coke’s arctic/ antarctic blending ads(polar bears & penguins together, forsooth–there’s a reason those two beasties didn’t develop/end up in the same polar region–wanna give odds on how many weeks it takes
    Ol’ Caleb to gobble up the dinner jackets?). They don’t really give you any reason to drink their stuff, either. Unless someone in Atlanta actually believes the polar bear is the Duncan Hines of the animal kingdom…

  6. Mark says:

    I believe Mr. Draper would have said “It’s Toasted!”… if he wasn’t in the middle of someone at the time.

  7. Amanda Albright Flynn says:

    The cigarettes have an oddly Gary Cooper-esque look, long and lean, going through the steps at the country dance. Nice companion to that tap-dancing Choc Full O’Nuts Coffee Can with the gams and the cowboy boots.

  8. hpoulter says:

    I think Draper might have tumbled to the fact that this is a gay square dance. All long, thin pants legs. I guess they couldn’t figure out how to put two cigs in a western skirt.

  9. Rev. Back It On Up 13 says:

    I watched a disk full of Mad Men because of your review, and I’ve never seen a show so full of people who needed a good smack. Well that’s not exactly true, but it’s been a while since my smackin’ hand trembled so during a viewing. I don’t watch a lot of TV.

    Yet I couldn’t stop watching it, and more is on the way. I love the idea of ad men appalled at the notion of exploiting a subconscious death wish.

  10. KCSteve says:


    From the very first time I saw one of the Polar bear / penguin spots my thought was “The carnage went on for miles!”

    While I’m sure a polar bear family cresting a rise to find a sea of penguins would be a case of great rejoicing, I just can’t picture the penguins joining in the joy.

  11. Mr. Lion says:

    And here I thought when it came to unfiltered Luckies, you were supposed to light the end opposite the brand.

    Educational, this intarwebland.

  12. Dave says:

    I watched the ad with the sound off, and being too young to remember the heyday of Luckies, I haven’t the foggiest idea what LS/MFT stands for. The first thing that came to mind was “Lucky Strike: More F’ing Tumors,” but upon further review, that’s probably not it.

  13. Mike Gebert says:

    LSMFT was Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco, so one could argue that it does contain a Draper-approved, Rosser Reeves-style USP (unique selling proposition), albeit one reduced to code, like the joke about the comedians’ convention. However, listen to a 40s-era Jack Benny Show, which typically consists of about 26 minutes of Lucky Strike plugs (worked into the jokes of the show, even!), and you’ll realize that “LSMFT” was no more of a mystery to people then than “WTF?” is now.

    And I vote for the Puppetoon-style animation theory, also, which is actually an extremely efficient method of stop motion animation, once the models are carved.

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