September 29, 2023
Kool Sailboat

A KOOL Cigarette Sailboat Was A Genius Marketing Plan

In 1971 Kool Cigarettes ran a unique marketing campaign. It was seen in magazines around the country with an ad that included sending in $88 and one box end from a carton of Kool cigarettes. Then in a few weeks, a fully functional KOOL cigarette sailboat would be shipped to your door.

Kool Marketing with a Sailboat

Kool Snark Sailboat

My dad and mom both smoked at that time (Who didn’t), but they did not smoke Kool’s. However, dad managed to snag an empty carton from the drug store he owned.

A 1971 Beach Toy Comes Back to Life

Both the hull and the sail have been garage stored for over 43 years. The original sail is still in great shape, as well as the hull. With the homemade fiberglass, the boat weighs about 50 lbs. One person can take it down to the beach. Two people can sail around in it, and there is usually water bubbling up from the daggerboard slot. It’s more of a toy than a true sailboat, but it does force you to learn the basics of sailing, and it will never sink.

Kool Success

In 1971, more than 48,000 Snark sailboats were produced and shipped, primarily due to the Kool cigarette mail order campaign. The promotion turned out to be one of Kool’s most remembered ads. It was offered again in 1972 and again in 1975 with a sailboat price of $139.

Our full story of Kool Snark Sailboats can be found here.

Kool Cigarette TV Commerical

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Michaela Nolte

Michaela is a history buff and loves to export historical markers and old buildings and seeks stories about Michigan and Great Lakes history. When she is not writing, you can find her with a good book sipping wine on the beach.

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