What gave the baby name Doral a boost in 1970?

Doral advertisement, 1973
Doral cigarettes

In 1970, the rare name Doral saw peak usage, according to the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1972: 6 baby girls and 6 baby boys named Doral
  • 1971: 7 baby girls and 12 baby boys named Doral
  • 1970: 12 baby girls [peak] and 17 baby boys named Doral [peak, both genders]
  • 1969: 11 baby girls and 7 baby boys named Doral
  • 1968: unlisted

The same year, the even rarer name Embra made its first and only appearance:

  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted
  • 1970: 6 baby girls named Embra [debut]
  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: unlisted

What influenced these names?

Believe it or not, the answer is cigarettes. Two different brands of cigarettes.

Doral cigarettes and Embra cigarettes were both put on the market by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in mid-1969. Doral was launched nationally in June, and Embra was introduced in test markets in August.

Doral (pronounced doh-RAL; rhymes with “corral” and “morale”) was marketed as a flavorful low-tar cigarette. The tagline was: “Taste me!”

Embra commercial, 1969/1970
Embra cigarettes

Embra was “designed to appeal to women” — just like Virginia Slims, which had been launched a year earlier. The tagline was: “Embra. For my woman.”

This advertising approach did not appeal to the market. The industry found that women typically do not smoke cigarettes to please men.

As a result, Embra was pulled out of test markets in mid-1970.

Doral, on the other hand, is still available to this day.

Putting aside the strong association with smoking for a moment…which of these brand names do you think makes a better baby name?


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