The Salem brand of cigarettes was named after the Winston-Salem town in the US state of North Carolina, which is the home town of this brand’s manufacturer, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Since its launching in 1956, the Salem cigarettes brand, which was in fact the first filter-tipped menthol cigarette to appear on the market, dominated the menthol category becoming one of the best-selling cigarettes both in the domestic US market, as well as in the whole world. Salem cigarettes became popular due to their quality but also thanks to a successful promotional campaign based on memorable slogans such as “You can take Salem out of the country, but…you can’t take the country out of Salem,” and “Springtime… it happens every Salem”.
Currently, the Salem brand comes into two different varieties, the Green Label which is the milder, mellower version of the cigarette and the Black Label, which has a fuller, stronger taste. During the revision of the brand’s packaging which occurred in the late 1990s, the Black Label variety acquired sliding packets, while a single cigarette with a distinct dark green filter was included in the packs and named “the lucky”, in accordance with the old smoker’s tradition of flipping the first cigarette in the box and smoking it last. More recently, the brand offering was diversified even further with the introduction of two new varieties, a light and an ultra-light version of Salem.
Salem cigarettes had also attracted much publicity due to its being the main sponsor of the ATP tennis tournament in Hong Kong. Belonging to the ATP circuit this event was highly publicised and attracted the top professional tennis players in the world. Until the early 2000s, Salem cigarettes were the main sponsors of this event and therefore the tournament was named the Salem cigarettes Open. Salem cigarettes were also sponsoring a number of other events taking place simultaneously to the tennis games, including concerts throughout Asia. However, in 2001 the Hong Kong authorities amended the relevant legislation and imposed tough restrictions on tobacco advertising and sponsorship. As a result it was no longer permissible for Salem to sponsor the tournament, which had to change its name and logo and receive from Perrier instead.