Philip Morris Cos. is testing a new cigarette in two cities backed by ads from Leo Burnett.
A campaign for Marlboro Milds kicked off this month in Atlanta and Pittsburgh. The print ads attempt to convey a laid-back attitude for the Marlboro extension. One execution shows a pair of cowboy-boot-clad feet propped up on a desk with the headline, "Serene Moments in Marlboro Country."
The tagline is simply, "New Marlboro Milds."
The ads will run in newspapers, magazines and alternative publications in those markets. The budget for the test campaign was not disclosed, but sources estimated spending at $1 million.
The blue-packaged Milds are Marlboro's first extension since Philip Morris launched Ultra Lights nationally in 1998. The new menthol cigarette is positioned between Marlboro Lights and Marlboro Ultra Lights.
Philip Morris spent $134 million last year advertising its Marlboro brands, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Burnett last week broke a $100 million image campaign for Philip Morris. The ads are part of the New York-based client's efforts to communicate more openly with the public, company officials said.
Coming the same week the company acknowledged in its most direct fashion to date that smoking causes cancer, the campaign includes television commercials and a redesigned Web site.
The effort is built around the theme, "Working to make a difference. The people of Philip Morris."