Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Up In Smoke

In late December, Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, announced new regulations pertaining to cigarette packaging. Taking effect approximately one year from now, the warning label on a deck of smokes will fill 75% of the package. Included will be graphic photos of those suffering from cancer.

Back in 1935, circumstances were enormously different. The above ad featuring goalie George Hainsworth would have sent shock-waves through Health Canada. In the mid-thirties cigarette, pipe and cigar smoking had a different social relevance. Most people considered smoking as a glamorous activity.

The catch-phrase in the ad was "Calling Philip Morris". The premise being that when the buying public purchased cigarettes, they would "call" for the Philip Morris brand. The Bellboy in the ad would voice radio spots with an emphasis on exaggerating each word in "C-a-l-l-i-n-g...P-h-i-l-i-p...M-o-r-r-i-s". In the history of advertising, it is considered one of the most successful tobacco campaigns. The product was quickly identified with the catch-phrase.

George Hainsworth
The ad with George Hainsworth was another case of linking an athlete with a product. Although there was no endorsement by Hainsworth, his image and accomplishments are front and centre. The theme has a "3-star" feel to it. As the text states "We call the outstanding player - You call for the outstanding cigarette Philip Morris Navy Cut".
The game for which Hainsworth is receiving accolades, was played on December 21, 1935. The Maple Leafs were hosting the New York Americans at Maple Leaf Gardens, With Hainsworth in goal, the Leafs defeated the "Amerks" 5-3.

Of interest, Toronto made a special presentation to a former member of the Blue & White. After 7 seasons with the Leafs, Harold "Baldy" Cotton was traded to the Americans for cash. Cotton, a 5'10", 159 pound, left winger, played in 285 regular season games for Toronto. He scored 68 goals and 88 assists for 156 points. He was a member of the 1931-32 Stanley Cup Championship team, the first Leaf squad to win the Cup in the Gardens.

"Baldy" Cotton
 George Hainsworth was a small (5'6" - 150lbs), but outstanding goaltender. In 1928-29 he had a season that most goalies could only dream of. He participated in 44 games with a record of 22-7-15. His average was a sparkling 0.92. There is more. Of the 44 games he played between the pipes, 22 of those resulted in shutouts!

William Harold Cotton was born on November 5, 1902 in Naticoke, Ontario. He passed away on September 9, 1984.

George Hainsworth was born on June 26, 1895 in Toronto, Ontario. He passed away in Gravenhurst, Ontario on October 9, 1950. Hainsworth was enshrined in the Hockey Hall in 1961.

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