Universal Pictures Directors Featured in Lucky Strike Ads (1927)

August 08, 2023

Lucky Strike Cigarettes have appropriated the biggest budget for national advertising yet expended in any cigarette campaign. They have chosen three of Universal’s most famous directors to give this stupendous campaign punch and popularity. A tie-up of such magnitude between cigarettes of Luckies’ reputation and Universal Pictures will benefit exhibitors from coast to coast.

Paul Leni, the German wizard, who has been making such a wide spread reputation as a master of light and shade and mysterious implications, is one of the Universal directors whose picture appears in the Lucky Strike ads. His filming of “The Cat and the Canary” has received enthusiastic comments not only from reviewers in the motion picture industry but also from art and theatrical critics.

The advertisement in which Paul Leni proclaims that Lucky Strikes never cause him the least sign of throat irritation, despite the constant strain his voice was subjected to during the direction of “The Cat and the Canary,” appeared in the New York World on the morning of November 18th. This ad covered 600 lines of space. Such lineage is significant enough in a New York newspaper, but at the same time, this ad appeared in 125 of the leading metropolitan newspapers throughout the United States. That means national distribution for Lucky Strikes and Universal.

William Seiter, whose direction of the Reginald Denny comedy, “Out All Night” is now film history among all wise exhibitors, also has nothing but praise for Lucky Strike cigarettes. The advertisement in which Mr. Seiter affirms that Luckies are his favorite cigarettes and never harm his throat appeared in the New York Sun of November 7th. This, too, had national distribution through a hundred and twenty-five newspapers from coast to coast on the same date. The lineage on this was also six hundred.

William Seiter was a famous enough personage in his own name before he married Laura La Plante this year, but that has added to his fan popularity among Laura’s host of admirers. Mr. Seiter has recently finished the direction of a new starring vehicle for his wife, “Thanks for the Buggy Ride.”

The third Lucky Strike-Universal director advertisement features Harry Pollard, whose name at the present time is as famous as any director in the industry. It was Harry Pollard who directed Universal’s super production, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” This stupendous undertaking was over two years in the making and embraced many difficulties. Already the scene in which Eliza crosses the ice, pursued by blood hounds, has brought Pollard’s name into remarkable prominence. That scene alone would have made “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” an outstanding production. The Mississippi River scenes and the southern plantations, however, were so authentic and so colorful that they have attracted the attention of a critical public and trade. This picture contains many mob scenes which naturally involved hours of shouting directions to a vast number of people spread over a considerable amount of ground. Despite this intense and extended strain on his voice, Pollard found that Luckies could be wielded in one hand and the megaphone in the other without disastrous results.

The advertisement in which he recommends Luckies appeared in the New York Journal of November 19th. Its release synchronized with the premiere of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and consequently enjoyed the current prominence of the Universal classic.

This advertisement was larger than the ones in which William Seiter and Paul Leni appeared. It contained 800 lines of advertising space. This multiplied by the 125 newspapers on which the ad appeared simultaneously means an aggregate of 200,000 lines of space. No mean accomplishment by way of national distribution!

Universal has been linked in some far-reaching national tie-ups of late, and this one smashes the record for cigarette newspaper advertising.

Lucky Strike Advertisements featuring Movie Directors Paul Leni, William Seiter and Harry Pollard | www.vintoz.com

The Paul Leni ad appeared in the New York World on November 18th, and the William Seiter ad in the Sun on November 7th. Lucky Strike used these ads on the same dates in 125 leading metropolitan newspapers throughout the country.

William A. Seiter, Famous Film Director, writes:

“The directing of Reginald Denny’s comedy features calls for intense use of my voice. The action that abounds in comedy film must constantly be kept alive by shouted directions through my megaphone. Naturally there is a decided strain on my voice. I am a confirmed smoker but must be careful lest it interfere with my work by irritating my throat. Lucky Strikes are my favorite cigarettes and I smoke as much as I choose. They do not harm my throat in the slightest and I find their toasted flavor enjoyable.”

Lucky Strike

“It’s Toasted”

No Throat-Irritation — No Cough.

Lucky Strike Advertisements featuring Movie Directors Paul Leni, William Seiter and Harry Pollard | www.vintoz.com

This Lucky Strike ad featuring Harry Pollard’s opinion of the famous cigarette covered 800 lines and appeared in 125 newspapers from coast to coast.

“Harry Pollard says Luckies have a delicious flavor and I agree”

Said Lew Cody to Bert Roach while they were resting between the taking of scenes while “on location.”

Harry A. Pollard, Director of Feature Photoplays, writes:

“The completion of my latest feature ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ for Universal Pictures Corporation, has once more proven to me that Lucky Strikes are the ideal cigarettes for those of us whose voices are under continuous and intense strain. In making this picture, I was, for many hours at a time, shouting directions to a host of players. At the same time I smoked many Lucky Strikes. I never felt the slightest throat irritation, and the delicious flavor of these cigarettes was a welcome relaxation in my work.”

You, too, will find that LUCKY STRIKES give the greatest pleasure — Mild and Mellow, the finest cigarettes you ever smoked. Made of the choicest tobaccos, properly aged and blended with great. skill, and there is an extra process — “IT’S TOASTED” — no harshness, not a bit of bite.

“It’s Toasted”

No Throat-Irritation — No Cough.

Made of the cream of tobacco crop.

Collection: Universal Weekly, December 1927

Lucky Strike — King Vidor | www.vintoz.com

King Vidor

Collection: Photoplay Magazine, October 1928

Lucky Strike — Herbert Brenon | www.vintoz.com

“Lucky Strikes protect me from an irritated throat.”

Herbert Brenon

Collection: Photoplay Magazine, December 1928