Monday, 4 July 2011

Player's please, Homerton

In 1924 George Green, advertising manager at John Player & Son Ltd, came up with the slogan "Player's Will Please You", replaced later by "They're Player's and They Please." By the early 1930s Green shortened these rather ordinary slogans and launched the highly successful "Player's Please!" Not only this was short and catchy, but it could take two different meanings, depending on whether "please" was understood as a verb or an adverb. Indeed it could either suggest, as with the earlier versions, that Player's cigarettes would give the smoker pleasure (as well as bad breath and a few health problems including cancer) or it could be what a customer would say to a tobacconist. Additionally by using such a common sentence Green could appeal to virtually everybody (*). Thus this inclusive slogan, together with the familiar image of the Royal Navy sailor Hero, explained to a large extent the success of Player over its competitors during the interwar period and immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

*: however Player's cigarettes appealed more to middle-class southern England and never really conquered the north of Britain, where working classes preferred the Woodbine.


Location: Kenney's Street / Picture taken on: 17/02/2010

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