Posted by: allisongran | December 19, 2011

Images of Alice on Cigarette Cards

While looking around at various Images of Alice, I came upon a sale sight where someone had posted their collection of Alice and Wonderland Cigarette Cards from the 1930’s.

The cigarette company which had these was the British Tobacco Company Carreras which was established in London in the nineteenth century by a nobleman from Spain, Don José Carreras Ferrer. Apparently this was a company well known for it’s marketing strategies. Supposedly, J.M. Barrie (the author of Peter Pan for anyone whose not familiar) was a valued customer and when he wrote the novel My Lady Nicotine, in which the tobacco substance is referred to as “Arcadia Mixture”, Carreras realized that Barrie’s sole supply of tobacco was the Craven Mixture he sold at Wardour Street. Barrie confirmed that Arcadia Mixture and Craven Mixture were one and the same. Shortly afterwards, Carreras began using Barrie’s endorsement in his advertising, benefiting both parties.

I just find their marketing strategy to be interesting considering that even at that time Alice was designated as a children’s novel, so it makes me wonder why they would choose those characters for promotion, and why did they choose the images they did? For example, I can understand the reasoning behind the Caterpillar’s mushroom, but what was the reasoning behind the image of Alice holding the baby turned pig? Were they trying to appeal to children who would beg their parents to buy these particular cigarettes so that they could get the cards? Or were they trying to attract a younger audience who may have still been under the impression of Alice in Wonderland or similar stories?

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