“He was a bad boy, and bad boys in the ’50s had tattoos.”
After flourishing mainly in the margins of society for the first half of the 20th Century, things started changing in the 1950s. According to sociologist Michael Rees, “tattooing started to regain popularity, first among marginal groups including gang members, bikers and punks and rockers, as symbols of both group allegiance and defiance of conventional society.”
It was in the 1950s that Leo Burnett, a Chicago-based ad agency, was given the task of making Marlboro cigarettes more appealing to men.
The “tattooed” Marlboro Man campaign ran from 1954 to 1999 and made Marlboro the best-selling cigarette in America.
The man would be one of several “manly” types, such as a policeman, a firefighter, a construction worker - or a cowboy.
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