Darrell Winfield, one of the original Marlboro Men who rode on horseback across the western countryside in cigarette ads, has died at age 85.
The image of rugged individualism is credited with the most successful advertising campaign in history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, transforming an obscure brand into the world’s number one seller.
Which should make us ask ourselves: what are the influences that drive us in the decisions we make? As Eric Fromm wrote, everyone knows that the blonde in the ad doesn’t come with the sports car, but the mere possibility that the buyer might end up with her makes the sale anyway.
The questions extend far beyond cigarettes and cars; they apply to every aspect of our lives: What are we being sold? Who are the salesmen? How much are we paying?