This brand became known for the first time in 1873. And she appeared thanks to the company company Drummond Tobacco Company. She focused on the implementation of chewing tobacco, and cigarettes were just a side business. New cigarettes received the name in honor of the county of Chesterfield in the state of Virginia.
They were called upon to appeal to the patriotic feelings of the consumer, and the company itself received a certain touch of aristocracy. But the manufacturer did not manage to launch sales of the new brand – the “tobacco war” began.
In the late 19th century, small and medium-sized companies with large corporations began to face in America. In the opinion of Karl Marx, capitalism passed into its last stage-imperialism. Monopolies ruthlessly absorbed competitors. A similar situation has developed in the tobacco industry, where the American Tobacco Company became such a “monster”. In 1898 Drummond was absorbed by the giant, and this despite the help of such an ally as Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company (which then gave the world the brand L & M).
In 1907, it turned out that the American Tobacco Company owns 90% of the world tobacco market. Then the US government decided to take action. A series of antimonopoly investigations showed that antitrust legislation was constantly violated. As a result of long proceedings, the US Supreme Court decided to divide the American Tobacco Company into several parts. So revived and Liggett & Myers, which in the form of a bonus went to the brand and Chesterfield.
The tobacco market in the US once again became a place of aggressive activity of competitors. All participants of this market began to spend considerable money on advertising and promotion of their own brands. Chesterfield also had to change a lot. As a result, only the name remains from the old stamp. Even the tobacco mixture was taken different, and the design of the pack changed. But a reasonable approach to the promotion of the brand allowed it to take a firm place in the market, second only to Camel and Lucky Strike.
However, there were not asleep, as a result, the Chesterfield brand became the target of the attack of “black PR”. For example, in 1934 a rumor appeared that at the main factory of Liggett & Myers, in Richmond, the work of lepers was used. Who wanted to smoke tobacco made by terribly sick people? As a result, in just a few months, sales of Chesterfield cigarettes dropped significantly. Even the intervention of the mayor of Richmond did not help, and the official refutation of the Health Council did not have any success.
The company did not have time to recover from such a blow, as the competitors again repeated their maneuver. In the midst of World War II, a rumor arose that Liggett & Myers had financially supported Adolf Hitler at the time, allocating $ 1.5 million to him. And again a scandal and a blow to the reputation.
Nevertheless, in Germany itself, cigarettes have become popular. After all, in the territory liberated by the Americans, this particular product of Chesterfield became the only hard currency. The Germans even came into use, not particularly gay chastushka: “Wettn Ami mil der Schwester spiel bekomme ich ein Chesterfield” (“If the Yankees frolic with my sister, I’ll get” Chesterfield “).
Despite the scandals and attacks of competitors, Chesterfield was gaining popularity. This happened in large part due to high-quality advertising. The tobacco brand did not hesitate to pay for the services of movie stars. Cigarettes Chesterfield advertised such status actors as Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Lucille Ball. The brand sponsored Glen Miller’s radio show and the TV series Gunsmoke. On the advertising posters Chesterfield advised the sports stars – football players and baseball players.
And in one of the ads in 1948, even Ronald Reagan himself was shot, then he was certainly an actor, not the President of the country. Having occupied such a responsible post, Reagan himself tried not to remember his participation in tobacco advertising. Meanwhile, Chesterfield was spending money and energy, penetrating books, plays and Broadway productions.Sneaking marketers managed to find a place for the tobacco brand, even in rock culture – in San Francisco, the hard-rock band The Chesterfields appeared.
Since 1995, the products of the famous brand are produced in Russia, in the factories of Philip Morris concern. In April 2008, the traditional design of the Chester pack changed again. Now on three sides of the pack an illustration is unfolding, which tells about the brand. The lateral side of its color speaks of the taste variant to which the cigarettes belong. And the names of varieties have changed a little, having received “shades” – Chesterfield Classic Red, Blue and Bronze.