The logical fallacy in the ad “You’ve come from Long Way Baby.”

The logical fallacy in the ad “You’ve come from Long Way Baby.”

Introduction and Ad summary

As the feminists’ movement was gaining ground in the United States in the 1960s, Phillip Morris Company, together with Leo Burnet Agency, worked on women’s changing attitudes. The campaign dubbed “You have Come from a Long Way, Baby,” was the product of their cooperation (Danesi 17). It was specially prepared for the new brand, ultra-smooth Virginia slim cigarettes. This was a special target for women smokers. They probably did this because women were continuously turning out to be the new phenomenon. Thus, their ad put women in the centermost stage, portraying them as independent, free, liberated, stylish, and confidently provided they smoke the Virginia Slims. The theme, you have come a long way, baby, rubber-stamped the message.

Logical fallacy

Fallacies refer to the conspicuous errors occurring in reasoning, and they are known to undermine logic in reasoning. However, the ad and the reality behind ultra-slim Virginia slim cigarettes do not add up to the heaped praise and qualities. This provides the base of several fallacies in the ad image.

I believe that the first fallacy used in the ad image is the appeal to ignorance. Here, it is assumed that everything the ad says is correct because nobody has proved it wrong. They capitalize on this to portray the cigarettes as those that earn women a more attractive and independent position in their world (Khan 55). Even though this may not be true, ad writers exploit such fallacies in creating a positive impression on their products without necessarily considering the basic facts.

I also think the fallacies of relevance found their way into the ad. This is because; the ad’s general understanding indicates that it tends to appeal to people using emotion and irrelevant information rather than logic.  While it is true that women are indeed independent, stylish, liberated, and confident, there is entirely no connection between this status and the consumption of these cigarettes. It is an entirely irrelevant idea. It can thus be viewed as an appeal to a popular idea rather than facts or logic.

Again, it is my conviction that the bandwagon policy was used. Bandwagon fallacy denotes using and applying trending ideas, images, or information to gain popularity of a product, idea, or person. The fact that women’s independence was an important topic in the 1960s and 1970s of the US makes it a good target by the advertisers. They use its trending nature to push the advertised products.

The advertising company, Phillip Morris Company, would have found these fallacies necessary due to many reasons. With bandwagon fallacy, it was easy to ensure that the product will be trendy as it is associated with ideas in the frontline debates daily. As people talk about women’s independence, so they remember the ultra-smooth Virginia slims.

Again, I believe the fallacies around relevance and appeal to ignorance commanded some authority level on the product. It appeared like the women’s movements endorsed the product, and given that many women looked up to the idea of women’s independence and related issues, it was easy for the ad to influence sales. Even though products’ purchase is often based on quality and benefits, these fallacies would easily overturn this rule.

Works cited

Danesi, Marcel. “Cigarettes and High Heels: The Universe of Signs.” Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2018. 1-23.

Khan, FouziaRehman, and SumairaShafiq. “Aristotelian Fallacies and Strategies in Advertisement: A Media Discourse Analytical Study.” Pakistan Perspective 23.1 (2018).

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