“You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby”: Virginia Slims and the Women’s Lib Movement

Girl smiling smoking a cigarette. Mexico, October 1968. Source: (Photo by Mario De Biasi;Sergio Del Grande/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Perhaps no other marketing campaign in the history of advertising captured the spirit of the times like the Virginia Slims’ “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!” campaign. The series of print and TV ads were a bit of a history lesson…showing what women endured in the past juxtaposed with a modern, liberated woman. In the midst of the women’s liberation movement, these ads served as a measurement to show women that, even though they were still fighting for total gender equality, they had come a long way over the years. March is Women’s History month, so it is only fitting that we take a look at how one company’s marketing program helped support a social movement.