Before a firm expands globally they first must choose a market segment to target. Marlboro launched a global marketing campaign with an advertisement that was sexually charged and suggested that if a teen or young adult was looking for an identity, that Marlboro was the best one. Marlboro stated that the target market was of legal smoking age, and meant to make current smokers aware of the brand choices so they may possibly switch to Marlboro. However, health advocates felt the advertisements were meant to target a younger market in an attempt to hook new smokers, and get brand loyalty to Marlboro.
Marlboro was very clever in their global marketing campaign. They followed all the rules of each country that showed the advertisement, and if it was banned from television they switched to print ads. The target market is huge, as anyone of legal smoking age can buy cigarettes and a good marketing campaign would likely increase sales dramatically if executed correctly. Young adults are often struggling with self identity, whether it be finding the right job, or the right person to marry, they turn to sometimes unhealthy means to cope, such as smoking. These problems are universal among young adults in every country, and smoking is more acceptable in other countries than in the US.
While health advocates have a point to try and get the ads banned, it is overall a good strategy that Marlboro went with. The campaign likely chose countries with a lot of young adults and kids in an attempt to gain new customers as well as getting current smokers to switch brands as they stated was their intention. Health advocates have good intentions to try and pull the ads, but that only proves that Marlboro had a good campaign going.