The Box and Lid measure 210mm x 110mm x 30mm (closed).
A folded 4-sided instruction leaflet (200mm x 100mm(closed).
Red and green Playing Boards - each measuring 200mm x 100mm.
11 Green playing cards (105mm x 75mm).
11 Red playing cards (105mm x 75mm).
2 Cigarette Stands (size–8 galvanized nut).
The box 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. The boards are printed on glossy paper backed onto millboard. A sticker on the box lid indicates the edition number. The Testimonials ! board game was produced in a limited edition of 7.
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.
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 smoking tests.
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 T–Zone extensively in their advertisements during the 'fifties. However images of unfamiliar faces baring the T–Zone soon began to be relocated to the bottom of the advertisement in monochrome in favour of a famous actor.
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.
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 illness'.
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 the 'fifties. 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 related illness'.
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 to 'Sucker'. 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 (although I wouldn't recommend it) but its intention is to clarify the structure of using celebrity endorsements in advertisements, especially for products associated with consumer concerns.
The instructions are actually the 'book' part of this artist's book although they are buried within this absurd board game.
The box was printed as a two colour separation on pale red stationery card. Celebrity endorser Vaughn Monroe (a singing band leader from the '50s who often endorsed cigarettes) encourages the consumer to play 'the smoking game for the whole family'. The absurdity of the game highlights the lengths that the cigarette companies and advertisers went to in order to encourage the consumption of their product despite consumer anxiety about health risks.
THE PLAYING PIECES
The playing pieces are created from small metal nuts (packaged within the box) the right diameter so that a cigarette can be stuck into it. The weight is enough to keep the cigarette upright so it can be moved around the board like a counter.
Container within box