History[edit | edit source]
The brand quickly became popular among soldiers and sailors with the Royal Guard, and when Brunant entered the First World War they were quick to capitalize on that. In late 1915 they renamed the brand to Victory, stressing their military links and also to "do their bit for our war effort". After the war, they adopted their trademark motto of "the smoke that won the war". In the 1930s Victory began its association with celebrities when they hired actor Joe Bertin to be their spokesman in 1933. In the hit movie The Republic, Bertin gave a message stating to "smoke a Victory, the cigarette our forefathers would have preferred". Other celebrities which featured in Victory ads included Vic Manley, Anna Lindbergs and Caroline Koch.
During WWII Victory heavily advertised on war themes, proclaiming itself as "the cigarette Brunant's soldiers prefer" and "the cigarette that's winning the war". Their advertising used patriotic tones and later in the war they began advertising to women too: ads stated that "Victory cigarettes are helping win the war- even on the home front." After the war Victory became less popular among younger generations, but it was still popular among veterans and soldiers, who wanted to live up to the image of a Brunanter soldier with his pack of Victory. To boost sales, they began advertising the safety of their smokes, something briefly mentioned in the 1940s. They touted them as the safest out there and had doctor recommendations. A famous add read "gives you a smooth taste without the smooth talk others use". Their other innovations from the 1950s and 1960s included "triple-filtered smokes", long smokes which blocked the tar and "nature-fresh" herbal cigarettes.
With the advent of tougher anti-smoking legislation in the 1980s and 1990s, Victory began finding it more difficult to continue operations. After the decision in Brunant v. TobacCorp going against the cigarette industry, Victory was ended in 2002 by Royal Cigarette.