Fred Flintston Winston Cigarettes

January 12, 2012 by staff 

Fred Flintston Winston Cigarettes, “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” is an enduring slogan that appeared in newspaper, magazine, radio, and television advertisements for Winston cigarettes from the brand’s introduction in 1954 until 1972. It is one of the best-known American tobacco advertising campaigns. In 1999, Advertising Age ranked the jingle eighth-best out of all the radio and television jingles that aired in the United States in the 20th century.

The deliberate use of “like” rather than “as” was provided by the William Esty Ad Agency, and the overall campaign was directed by Esty executives Wendell Adams and Arline Lunny, Lunny serving as producer/director of most of the visual and recording production related to the campaign in its initial years. Adams was a classically-trained musician in his own right, but singer/model/pianist Margaret Johnson ghost wrote the Jingle and, along with her husband, Travis Johnson, recorded it with their group, the Song Spinners. Johnson’s insertion of the two quick hand claps before the word “cigarette” caught America’s ear by surprise and had much to do with the jingle’s success. (A second Winston jingle by Johnson, using the folk tune “Skip to my Lou”, has faded into obscurity.)

In a departure for the time, the advertising campaign was also used to target distinct niche groups apart from its core clientele of Caucasian smokers, such as American Jews and African Americans.

A catchy jingle and ad campaign, it has come to embody a piece of Americana, and has even seeped into the consciousness of people who were too young (or not even alive) to remember the campaign when it occurred. The slogan was so well-remembered that it was added to Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations in 1988.

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