The Testimonials !
board game comprises multiple parts;
Box and Lid measure 210mm x 110mm x 30mm (closed).
4-sided instruction leaflet (200mm
Red and green Playing Boards - each measuring 200mm x 100mm.
11 Green playing cards (105mm
11 Red playing cards
Cigarette Stands (size8 galvanized nut).
lid is printed as a two colour separation (red and black) on heavyweight
red card, the bottom box is printed on heavyweight green card as is the
inner tray. The inner tray has three compartments, the 11 red cards, the
2 cigarette stands, and the 11 green cards.
The 22 cards are printed on glossy paper backed onto colour (either red
or green) heavyweight card.
The folded instruction leaflet is printed in two colours (red
and green) onto 130g cartridge paper.
are printed on glossy paper backed onto millboard.
on the box lid indicates the edition number.
game was produced in a limited
edition of 7.
This Board Game reflects
the testimonials used to promote cigarettes during the period of study.
The aim of this 2 player game is to 'out endorse' your opponent by fielding
more convincing celebrities and personalities.
During my researches I have identified generic testimonials used as reassurances
in the cigarette advertisements these have been placed in a hierarchy
according to their frequency of use. This hierarchy has been translated
into the valued playing card, the higher the number the more effective
1 'Regular Joe' or 'Jane'
Images of housewives or the working public were used often by many brands'
advertisements, noticeably Camel, but only as a small element with
the page. They never appear as the main focus.
2 Animals Dogs
Animals are used to inject humour or emotion, most commonly by the Old
Gold brand who regularly used images of dogs, rabbits, fish and even
budgerigars. Their use is still limited.
Beagles, as featured on the green card, were used regularly in laboratory
3 Pack Shot
Used mainly to reinforce changes in packaging or the introduction of a
new product, the pack shot occurs more regularly than 'animals' or the
'public' but is still rarely the main focus of many cigarette advertisements.
Camel used the concept of the TZone extensively in their
advertisements during the 'fifties. However images of unfamiliar faces
baring the TZone soon began to be relocated to the bottom of the
advertisement in monochrome in favour of a famous actor.
5 Tobacco Farmer
Chesterfield and Lucky Strike featured many images of the
tradition of Tobacco Cultivation such as farmers, auctioneers and leaf
graders, especially between the 'thirties and 'forties. These images always
drew on handmade rather than machine-made elements of production.
6 Sports Personality
Chesterfield and Camel often featured a well-know sports
personality to endorse their brands. During the 'thirties Camel used sports
endorsements alongside the slogan "Get a lift with a Camel" suggesting sports stars smoked to get an energy rush from nicotine.
Both Joe DiMaggio and Ed Lopat (featured here) died of smoking related
7 Opera Singer
Camels ran campaigns during the 'fifties that focused on anxiety about
throat complaints, featuring radio presenters, announcers but most commonly
opera singers. The opera singers endorsed the brand by stating it didn't
damage their valuable voices.
Camel, along with Chesterfield and Philip Morris,
tackled consumer anxieties about throat problems by featuring endorsements
by medical personnel (doctors, throat specialists and even dentists).
These appear very frequently throughout the majority of brands during
In order to counteract images of medical personnel being used to reassure
the public about health concerns the FTC banned medical claims in the
late 'fifties and the organization DOC (Doctor's Ought to Care) was formed.
Marlboro has become synonymous with the image of western cowboys,
from a 'womens' cigarette during the 'twenties into the now familiar 'macho'
brand. The Marlboro campaign made the brand hugely successful and
images of cowboys are still seen regularly in countries where advertising
restrictions are more accommodating.
Wayne MacLaren, the most recognised of the Marlboro cowboys,
and featured here, died of a smoking related illness.
The most frequently occurring of all testimonials was the famous actor/actress.
Movie stars were hired by all brands in a regular competition of 'who
could get the most famous face' to endorse on their behalf. It should
be noted that TV spots were sponsored by many brands and quid pro quo
promotion of the star's new movie often appeared in the advertisements.
Both Dean Martin and Barbara Stanwyk featured here died of smoking
Testimonials ! Wild
This card features the Testimonials ! brand character and has the
effect of discrediting the endorsement card laid by your opponent. This
is to replicate the anxieties faced by advertisers about the 'wholesome'
image of their spokesperson, e.g. An actor who becomes involved in a scandal
is dropped as quickly as possible from a campaign lest the scandal tarnishes
the brand image.
The Boards have a route from an unresponsive and distrustful public through
to a gullible and totally convinced one. Win them over and you win the
game - from 'Switch Brand' through 'wavering' and 'rest assured' and on
The tone of voice of the instructions is cheery and encourages the players
to keep stopping and smoking. It also suggests in order to enjoy the game,
play (including smoking) should be feverish although players must
provide their own cigarettes.
The game can be played but its intention is to clarify the structure of
using celebrity endorsements in advertisements, especially for products
associated with consumer concerns.