Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

Always very elegant the ASDS of Virginia Slims Cigarettes.

Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

The Virginia Slims Cigarettes is the first as sex appeal in cigarettes advertising.


Just as the feminism movement hit in the late 1960's, The Philip Morris Company introduced San Francisco Bay Area women to a new 'women's only' cigarette. The Leo Burnett Advertising Agency of Chicago produced a series of tongue-in-cheek magazine ads for Virginia Slims Cigarettes that playfully pitted men against women. Phony sepia-toned photos, picturing the sorry lot of a circa 1900's woman, were juxtaposed against color photographs of a far happier modern woman wearing stylish contemporary clothing. The test market began July 30, 1968, then expanded to all fifty states just 28 days later. By 1969, the first full year of Virginia Slims Cigarettes national distribution, sales were a very respectable .9 percent. American women now had a cigarette they could call their own.


Beautiful Carol Alt was one of the women that Virginia Slims Cigarettes featured in their ads during the late 1980s. The classic "You've come a long way, baby" advertising campaign didn't mention or list the different model's names, and Ms. Alt felt that she personally wasn't endorsing the product because she hadn't been identified. Even though Carol Alt was a smoker, she refused to pose for any future Virginia Slims Cigarettes ads when she realized that her picture alone was recognition enough for some of her fans to feel that she was endorsing cigarettes. This decision cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages.

Virginia Slims Cigarettes sexy

In 1968, Philip Morris marketed Virginia Slims Cigarettes to women with an advertising strategy showing canny insight into the importance of the emerging women's movement. The slogan "You've come a long way, Baby" later gave way to "It's a woman thing" in the mid-1990s, and more recently the "Find your voice" campaign featuring women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The underlying message of these campaigns has been that smoking is related to women's freedom, emancipation, and empowerment.


The attractive women who modeled for Virginia Slims Cigarettes weren't always successful in introducing new line extensions. Virginia Slims Ovals were unsuccessfully test marketed in Rochester, Las Vegas, and Birmingham beginning June 1984. Another short lived idea was to package VS in a supposedly convenient ten pack. In October 1975 Philip Morris was the first manufacturer to extend the 120mm length to a major brand. Virginia Slims Cigarettes 120's were tested in Fresno, California, but withdrawn when sales failed to meet expectations. It wasn't until 1985 that super long Virginia Slims Lights 120's were found acceptable. One VS line extension brought out in the late 1980s was smiled upon by women, but scorned by a competing manufacturer. Philip Morris launched Superslims from Virginia Slims Cigarettes beginning October 1989. The Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation had been selling super thin Capri since January 1987, and frowned when another skinny smoke was introduced. That same year I received a letter from a lawyer with a NYC law firm that was representing Philip Morris. I was asked if there had been any cigarettes made before 1987 that had a very, very small diameter. Did you know that Benson & Hedges marketed Russian No. 3 cigarettes during the 1930's with a smaller diameter than Capri?


The two page color magazine ad for Virginia Slims tennis comes from the Dec. 1982 / Jan. 1983 issue of Sports Illustrated. Newspapers were used to advertise the local matches. A $100 box seat ticket that was good for all sessions at the Oakland Coliseum during February 1983, came with free parking. The Philip Morris Company's early sponsorship of women's tennis helped assure today's American women an equal opportunity in sports.

Virginia Slims Cigarettes

Virginia Slims Cigarettes brand is a creation of Philip Morris. Virginia Slims belongs to decorative brands, focused strictly on young professional women. Virginia Slims Cigarettes are much narrower (23mm circumference) than ordinary cigarettes (hence, "Slims"), and are also longer than normal "king-sized" cigarettes, sold only in longer 100s and 120s, to give the cigarettes a more "elegant" appearance.

Virginia Slims Cigarettes delivered to your door at online discount cigarette prices for your smoking enjoyment. Our virginia slim cigarettes are delivered fresh to your door from our Winston - Salem, North Carolina location. Virginia Slims Cigarettes are an old time favorite of smokers everywhere. At american cigarette shop we strive to offer the best on line prices for brands like Virginia Slims cigarettes and other domestic cigarette brands.

Discount prices out of the competition are available for: Virginia Slims Lights Cigarettes, Virginia Slims Lights Menthol Cigarettes, Virginia Slims Super Slims One Cigarettes, Virginia Slims Superslims Menthol Cigarettes, Virginia Slims Super Slims Filter Cigarettes.


1988 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1981 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1980 Virginbia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1980 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1979 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1977 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1977 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1977 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

1985 Virginia Slims Cigarettes Ads

Virginia Slims

1978 Virginia Slims magazine ad. The image at the top is a photograph of a woman hanging laundry outside. The ad text reads: "Back then, every man gave his wife at least one day a week out of the house. You've come a long way, baby. Virginia Slims – Slimmer than the fat cigarettes men smoke."

Virginia Slims Cigarettes are a brand of cigarette manufactured by Philip Morris. The brand was introduced in 1968 and directly marketed to young, professional women, under the famous slogan, "You've come a long way, baby." Some media watch groups considered this Virginia Slims Cigarettes marketing campaign to be responsible for a rapid increase in smoking among teenage girls. Later campaigns have used the slogans, "It's a woman thing," in the 1990s, and "Find your voice." A report by the Surgeon General of the United States has interpreted these marketing strategies as attempting to link smoking "to women's freedom, emancipation, and empowerment." This report also tied the increase of smoking among teenage girls to rises in sales of Virginia Slims Cigarettes and other "niche" brands marketed directly to women.

Virginia Slims are much narrower (23mm circumference) than ordinary cigarettes (hence, "Slims"), and are also longer than normal "king-sized" cigarettes (which are 84mm), sold only in longer 100mm and 120mm lengths, to give the cigarettes a more "elegant" appearance and ostensibly to reduce the amount of smoke they produce. They are also sold in "Superslims", "light," "ultra-light," and menthol varieties. The packaging is white with vertical colored stripes running along the left side.


Virginia Slims Cigarettes was introduced in September of 1968 by Philip Morris, and marketed as a female-oriented spinoff to their Benson and Hedges brand. The blends, flavorings, color scheme, and overall marketing concepts closely follow the Benson and Hedges model. Early packs (1968-1978) said Benson and Hedges (near the bottom).

The first test-market was in San Francisco, California. The test was originally scheduled for six months, but was cut short after 3 1/2 months due to the overwhelming success of the introduction - a nearly 3% market penetration. Shortly thereafter, distribution and marketing was implemented on a nationwide basis.
  • In 1976, a 120-mm full-flavor packing was test-marketed in Fresno, California. Designed to compete with RJ Reynolds 'More' brand, the test ultimately failed and this entry was withdrawn.
  • In 1978, Virginia Slims Lights were introduced, with good success. Although early marketing concepts included soft pack, Philip Morris decided to go exclusively with a box-pack design.
Throughout the early 80's, growth and market penetration was significant, drawing the attention of competitors who introduced their own competing brands (including American Tobacco Company's Misty and Brown and Williamson's Capri brands).
  • In 1984, Virginia Slims Ovals were test-marketed, but were unsuccessful and eventually withdrawn. Ovals were light, and had an oval-shaped circumference.
  • In 1985, Virginia Slims Luxury Light 120's were introduced - a 120 mm length packing again intended to compete with RJ Reynolds 'More' brand, as well as other 120's now on the market. The introduction was successful. This packing has since become a mainstay of the smoking glamour community. It is arguable as to whether VS120's are truly 'light', since their rating numbers compare more closely to full-flavor.
  • In 1987, Ultra-Light 100's were introduced, in keeping with changing consumer tastes, other competitive entries, and the Benson and Hedges model. Marginally successful, this packing remains on the market today.
  • In 1990, Ultra-Light SuperSlim 100's were introduced, in response to ultra-thin (21mm circumference) competition and consumer demand for a 'low-smoke' product entry. These were also marginally successful, and remain on the market.
  • In 1993, a 10-Pack version of Light 100's were introduced, with 10 cigarettes per pack, and costing approximately half the price of a 20-pack. This entry met with limited success and came under some attack from critics. It was ultimately withdrawn.
  • In 1994, Virginia Slims Kings (85mm length) were designed as a discount entry and possibly to compete with other king-size entries such as RJ Reynolds' Camel brand. It is not clear whether Kings were ever test-marketed, but they were never introduced.
  • In 2003, a box-pack was introduced for full-flavor 100's, in response to consumer demand.
  • In 2004, Ultra-Light 120's were introduced with marginal success. It is likely that this packing will continue to be supported.

All packings were simultaneously introduced in both Menthol and Non-menthol (e.g., Regular or Filter) varieties. Menthol usually represents 45%-55% of the total sales of a particular packing.

In all, there have been 11 packings introduced or test-marketed in the U.S., of which 7 are still on the market. There are other varieties marketed internationally; specifically, entries marketed in the Asian-Pacific region, Russia, and South Africa. Virginia SlimsCigarettes has never had a significant European or South American presence.


From inception, Virginia Slims Cigarettes have been designed and marketed as a female-oriented brand, generally targeted towards a younger demographic (18-35 year olds). While various themes have emerged in the marketing campaigns over the years, the basic threads have been independence, liberation, slimness, attractiveness, glamour, style, taste, and a contrast to men's cigarettes.

Television and print ads often featured well-known models and designer fashions. Print ads were generally placed in women's magazines, and formed the mainstay of the marketing campaign, supplemented with billboards and point-of-purchase displays. From 1969 until 1971, television advertising was an important component.

Virginia Slims Cigarettes also sponsored the Women's Tennis circuit. This sponsorship is sometimes credited for the growth and success of women's tennis during the 70's and early 80's.

Several other, less important, marketing vehicles were employed, such as the Virginia Slims Book of Days (a day timer/calendar book), fashion shows, and an extensive line of products, apparel, and accessories available to consumers.

The Leo Burnett advertising agency handled the Virginia Slims Cigarettes account throughout most of the product lifetime.

While marketing has been focused on women 18+, there has been a large growth in the 13-17 age range for Female VS120 smokers.

Market share

From its inception until 1978, Virginia Slims Cigarettes saw a steady increase in market share to 1.75% (3.9% of all female smokers). With the introduction of Lights in 1978, the market share increased to 2.5%. Other packings, including 120's, Ultra Lights, and Superslims helped push the market share to a peak of 3.1% (nearly 7% of female smokers) in 1989. With increased competition from other brands, notable Capri and Misty, the brand lost ground but stabilized at around 2.4% though 2003. Since then, it has lost about .1% per year, and was 2.0% in 2007. This slow but steady decline is expected to continue, since the brand is no longer heavily promoted. Despite this, brand loyalty is well-above average, and is still one of the highest in the industry.

Virginia Slims Cigarette Brand

Virginia Slims Cigarettes brand was instituted in 1968 by Philip Morris. Virginia Slims Cigarettes belongs to decorative brands, focused strictly on young professional women. Virginia Slims Cigarettes are much narrower (23mm circumference) than ordinary cigarettes (hence, “Slims”), and are also longer than normal “king-sized” cigarettes, sold only in longer 100s and 120s, to give the cigarettes a more “elegant” appearance and avowedly to reduce the amount of smoke they produce.