In the 1950’s, there was no more powerful a spokesperson that a brand could have than Lucy and Dezi.
‘I Love Lucy’ ruled prime-time television, which was controlled by only three national networks in the 50’s. Over their thirteen year run, an average of 53% of the televisions in the country were turned in to watch ‘I Love Lucy’ on CBS Monday nights at 9PM.
For perspective, no Super Bowl ever broadcast has EVER garnered as large a market share that Lucy commanded EVERY SINGLE WEEK.
At the same time, there was no bigger advertiser than the tobacco companies. They had deep pockets, smoking was wildly popular, had few regulations to worry about, and was even endorsed by physicians!
So imagine the power of a spot like this for the Phillip Morris brand:
With the advent of broadband communications and hundreds of programming channels, never again will we see the type of potency in a single message that this very simple spot had.
But what we learn from this still applies today. Get an ADVOCATE for your brand, someone who has a lot of followers and friends on key social media platforms to make positive statements about your brand…just like Lucille Ball did and Dezi Arnaz for Phillip Morris.
The ‘force multiplier’ that is social media has given this power to small businesses everywhere.