Brand Identity Elements – Marlboro

Brand Identity Model Marlboro

Please click on the image to enlarge.

1. Are there any patterns (which?) emerging?
Throughout the exercise, we have noticed that the “old” brand image of Marlboro is still strongly positioned in our heads. The Marlboro Man and the thereby represented values are still more present than the new advertised values.

2. How much integration is there between strategy/vision and execution/form?
The new advertisement campaign “Don’t be a Maybe” runs into a totally different direction than the Marlboro Man campaign. With the new advertisement strategy, Marlboro tries to find contemporary “Marlboro Men” by representing young individuals with strong identities and principles. Marlboro is thereby engaging their consumers to make their own decision and stand for their values. Unfortunately, the new campaign doesn’t come across authentically. The Marlboro Man is still that strong positioned in our heads, that we still relate Marlboro with the old advertisement campaign. Even if Marlboro keeps on advertising extensively with the “Don’t be a Maybe” campaign and build a younger brand image, the company could loose its strong brand identity that they have built up for years.In any case, Marlboro has to overcome the current mismatch between the communicated values and the brand identity.

3. How much aspiration does the brand exhibit?
The Marlboro brand has built up a very strong identity that transmits strong values, heritage and principles. With the new campaign, Marlboro tries to keep up with the times and adapts the brand image with a contemporary campaign. Unfortunately, the new advertisement strategy is completely throwing over the old values.

4. What does the brand well? Where and what are the major disconnects?
Through their constant advertising efforts, Marlboro has built a myth around their brand and states a very high recall value. With the new campaign, the communicated values mismatch with the brand’s heritage and identity. It will take a lot of advertising efforts to get to a same level of brand recognition and change the brand image.



  1. hans kaspar hugentobler

    i see especially a disconnect between the main idea and the visual representation, a weak translation/transfer between content and form.

  2. hans kaspar hugentobler

    a straightforward application of the model, which is not easy, but you mastered it pretty well.

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