Smoking makes your skin finely textured.

The copy in this ad reads like a textbook of marketing bullshit. "This man thinks for himself. Knows the difference between fact and fancy. Trusts judgement, not opinion. Such a man usually smokes VICEROY. His reason? Best in the world. He knows that only VICEROY has a thinking man's filter and a smoking man's taste."
It's hard to string together forty-six words that have absolutely no meaning and contain no real information, but Brown and Williamson found a way.

Anyway, check out that painting. Holy jeez! Somebody got paid an awful lot of money to spend an awful lot of time painting an awfully good painting of a guy smoking. Sure, it was doubtlessly heavily photo-referenced, with a model hired, posed, and professionally shot. But even with really good reference, turninout a painting like this takes some serious skill. Let's go in closer, to see what I mean.

We know now that smoking is bad for you in lots of ways, yeah yeah. One of those ways is that, over the years, it makes your skin more, uuh, "detailed". I doubt that a modern cigarette ad would have gone with a painting exactly like this one in which the man's face looks like the skin of an orange, nomatter how true the painting is to the actual model's skin. Today, they'd probably smoothify and idealize the guy's face until he looked like an eight-year-old girl enjoying a smooth, mild Viceroy.

ANYway... painting skin texture this realistically is impressive. Let us bear in mind that, in 1959, there were no shortcuts - just brushes and paints. So, all this orange-peely detail was rendered by hand by a really good artist. Adding this level of detail to a person's skin is a delicate balancing act. Too much and your guy looks like a troll. To little and he looks like an ugly woman in a man's shirt. Pity the painting is uncredited. I was keen to find out this person's name and see what else he/she had done.

Apparently, this man is a scientist. See all the zappy shit flying around in the air behind him? That's science. Or, at least that was people's idea of science in 1959. More commonly, a bunch of electricity waving around loose in the air like that is indicative of science being mishandled, or being played with by hoons trying to impress a tour group. This guy is probably meant to be monitoring the Electricity Not Killing Everyone System, but instead, he's enjoying his "thinking man's filter". Also, he probably lit his Viceroy using the teslacoil, just to impress the tour. Good thinking, man.


Anonymous said...

But what of the of the sexual implications of "familiar pack or crush-proof box." ?

MrsBug said...

I'm sorry to be the one to correct you, but you have to use the word science as SCIENCE!!!, like Thomas Dolby, to be correct.

But you are correct: there is a lot of SCIENCE going on in the background.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Yeah, the only word in the ad to get the all-caps treatment is VICEROY, like shouting it is going to make us buy them. Shouting SCIENCE at me makes me wish I had the mathematical mind to have been a scientist, however.

Interesting note: when I spent my year in demo-reel hell in L.A., I brought my synthesizer to a music shop to get fixed. They were selling a pair of old road cases that said "Thomas Dolby" on the side in shake-n-spray stencil letters. Pretty cool, though I didn't have the cash to take them home. I imagine those cases carried lots of science around in them over the years. And, they did look like they could have been relics of Dolby's The Flat Earth tour. They were thoroughly beaten up.

P.S. I think "Hyperactive" is a more catchy tune than 'Blinded.

Thanks, Mrs. B!

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