Advertising Of The Past

The first cigarette trading cards appeared in cigarettes packs in late 1800’s. They instantly became a huge success among people of various backgrounds. At the time cigarettes were sold in small pasteboard boxes and these trading cards were slipped between the box and its cover. Why they were such a hit? These trading cards contained pictures of the most popular actors and actresses of that time.

However, there always was a competition between tobacco manufacturing companies. Correspondingly, the idea of one company was instantly stolen by others. While pictures of actors and actresses were a huge success, people also loved pictures of cute animals, coins of all nations, racing jockeys, bloomer girls and many other themes.

Each company chose its themes, so that they can get people’s interest. In this race, companies tried to outdone each other, inserting color photos, pictures, printed on silk, coupons, exchangeable for big prizes and so on. This insane race came to an end when Congress banned putting of any gifts in packs of cigarettes – to much relief of all the tobacco companies, which counted serious losses due to the necessity to stay afloat in the competition.