Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Braddock cigarettes toe-tappingly tackle women's lib: The Braddock Way of Seeing Things - Larry King (197?)

More cigarette advertising songs! This is a promotional 7" I found at the always awesome 3MBS record fair. Braddock are a brand of cigarettes that no longer exist, but who were clearly aiming for a very manly, conservative image with this campaign. I found it very difficult to get any details about this record at all until I found the website of what turned out to be the producer: Brian King. There are a lot of Brian Kings out there, and it wasn't until he replied that I knew he was the right man. Here is an excerpt of his email:

For about 10 years starting in the 70's I was in partnership with Larry King (no relation). We had a company which produced advertising jingles and film music.

When "Braddock" came our way it was right in the middle of the "Women's Lib" movement and the brief was to create a campaign which celebrated the differences between men and women. Larry King was a good looking guy, kind of like the "Marlborough Man" and as well as our company producing the music Larry also got the gig as "The Braddock Man". This involved a short live tour to Melbourne which was the place they decided to test market the brand. The slogan for the campaign was "Braddock....Not Mild".

It was all good fun but to this day I've still never smoked a cigarette!

I emailed Brian back with a few follow-up questions - I was quite curious as to whether there were any photos of 'The Braddock Man', for example - but he didn't reply.

There are eight tracks on this record with lyrically consistent themes of women dressing differently to how they used to, bureaucracy and red tape making a man's life difficult and very little mention of tobacco or cigarettes - although every composition ends with Braddock's aforementioned tagline, 'Braddock…not mild'. As Brian alludes to, this was a pitch aimed at the kind of blokes who were threatened or bewildered by the womens' rights movement and there's an amusing lack of subtlety in the lyrics which pretty much all boil down to 'Everything is different to how it used to be (so smoke our cigarettes)'.

Label: Private press
Released: 197?
Players: Larry King - vocals
Brian King - producer