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January 2, 2021

“You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby” – 40 Virginia Slims Cigarette Ads From the Early 1970s

If you were alive and in America in 1968, you might remember the phrase “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby.” It was an advertising slogan for a brand of cigarettes, known as Virginia Slims, which, at 100mm in length and 23mm in circumference, were longer and thinner than cigarettes from competing brands.

Just as the feminist movement was gaining in strength and popularity, the Phillip Morris Company teamed up with the famed Leo Burnett Agency to capitalize on shifting attitudes. The campaign was for their new brand of ultra-smooth Virginia Slims cigarettes. It specifically and unabashedly targeted women, which was itself a new phenomenon. Every ad in the campaign put a woman front and center, equating smoking Virginia Slims with being independent, stylish, confident and liberated.

The slogan itself spoke directly about the progress women all over America were fighting for: “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Women have indeed come a long way since the ads first crashed onto the scene, evolving past the surface traits of 1960s-era independence. “You’ve come a long way, baby” remains one of the most famous advertising campaign lines in U.S. history.

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