Morley Cigarettes

Morley Cigarettes

The Made-Up Brand That Sells Better Than the Real One
325
views

In the vast, incomprehensible world of American advertisement, thousands upon thousands of unique brands and logos are lost in the overcomplicated jumble and never become as recognizable as others.

One product that has never seemed to suffer from this lack of a specific identity is Morley Cigarettes. With their white-and-red boxes, ambiguously European family crest ornament, and selling claim that “More doctors smoke Morleys than any other cigarette,” this brand has definitely stood the test of time in terms of its ability to remain consistently recognizable throughout the years.

This may very well be because Morley Cigarettes never actually existed.

The first major appearance of this very-nonexistent brand was in none other than Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1960 film Psycho, in which Simon Oakland’s character is seen shaking a single Morley out of a pack. No attention is drawn to the fictional cigarette within the narrative of Psycho, and neither was any explanation given behind the scenes as to the origins of the brand.

Although Psycho is often considered the first appearance of Morley Cigarettes, it has been noted that, since no one has taken credit for the creation of the brand, there is every possibility that the tradition of using that name in place of a real-life cigarette extends even farther back than 1960.

However, citing Hitchcock’s world-renowned film as the beginning of this silent, fifty-year running joke would certainly be fair, as following the release of Psycho, Morley Cigarettes began appearing in hundreds of films, television shows, books, and other forms of media. Some of the highest-profile appearances of Morley Cigarettes can be spotted in The X-Files, Breaking Bad, Friends, LOST, The Twilight Zone, and The Walking Dead.

One may wonder exactly what is the purpose in such a long-running inside joke? Why would thousands of filmmakers and screenwriters slip the same fictional brand into their totally separate fictional worlds? The best answer to this would be a resounding “No reason.”

Morley Cigarettes function almost as little purpose as an icon of the film and television industry as they do actual cigarettes. Despite appearing in thousands of films and TV shows throughout the past fifty years, the Morley brand is nothing more than a glorified running joke through countless cinematic universes.

One of the charms of a running joke such as this is that very few are actually aware that it exists. If any ordinary American were to hear the name “Morley Cigarettes,” they would likely assume it denoted nothing more than a brand of which they were not previously aware. Only a select few know the truth about Morley Cigarettes and even less know the details of their existence, or lack thereof.

Occasionally, the presence of Morley Cigarettes will be recognized within a film or series, although the characters never reference the brand’s nonexistence in the real world, as doing so would cause a break in the fourth wall. For instance, in an episode of the popular American science fiction series The X-Files, leading characters Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are sent to investigate the mysterious death of a Morley Tobacco employee and discover that the corporation has been using alien biology to enhance the addictive nature of their product.

In this instance, the fictional Morley cigarettes company is used as cover for a storyline with which no real tobacco distributor would want to be associated. The producers of The X-Files figured that neither Marlboro, Old Gold, or any other cigarette company would condone their product being associated with the negative connotations of alien biology, and thus created their own made-up brand to fit the role; it just so happened that there already existed a named cigarette that had been used in countless series and films before The X-Files.

Although Morley cigarettes are not associated with any existing brand, their packaging and in-world advertisements are heavily based on Marlboros, one of the most popular real-life brands. In fact, even the name — Morley — is a vertical derivative of the slang term for Marlboros: Marleys. Additionally, the iconic Marlboro packaging is emulated in that of its fictional counterpart. In most post-Psycho appearances, Morley boxes are white with a red top, decorated with the Crest of Great Britain. They look so similar to Marlboro boxes that, if someone had an idea to produce Morleys in real life, they would no doubt be under fire for patent infringement.

The existence of a fictional brand that spans more than two hundred different films, TV shows, and other forms of media may be news to anyone who doesn’t happen to work in Hollywood. But even more surprisingly, Morley cigarettes are not the only name brand to appear onscreen, but never in real life. For instance, the Google-inspired search engine Finder-Spyder is used all across television, most notably in Breaking Bad, Weeds, and The X-Files. Another of these companies that won’t be seen in our world is Oceanic Airlines, the go-to plane service when a crash or other accident is called for, most specifically in ABC dramas LOST and Fringe.

Although very few American consumers are aware of this host of fictional companies that spans across various forms of media, those that are aware can look on the existence of such made-up brands as proof that, although films, television shows, books, and other works of fiction are separated by any number of factors, they are all created by human being with similar ideas, ideals, and dreams.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.propstore.com/mobile/product/x-files-the/smoking-mans-morley-cigarette-packet/

Popular Right Now

If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
506506
views

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

655
views

They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


Related Content

Facebook Comments