Date: 1930
Brand: Camel
Manufacturer: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Campaign: Mass Marketing Begins
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: Woman, female, man, male, sophisticated, luxury, glamour, romance, yacht, boat
Quote: And it is this capacity for choosing the good things of life whether a perfume, an evening gown, or a cigarette which constitutes the best and highest type of sophistication.

Comment: This advertisement targets women who wish to be viewed as more sophisticated. By featuring a couple on a boat, a man providing the chic woman with the cigarette and the light and thus the attention, the ad overflows with romance. The pure luxury of the scene would also be attractive to women in 1930, following the initiation of the Great Depression with the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The copy refers to the woman s ability to choose the good things of life and lists a variety of sophisticated accessories, Camels among them.

Mass Marketing Begins

As the threat of tobacco prohibition from temperance unions settled down in the late 1920s, tobacco companies became bolder with their approach to targeting women through advertisements, openly targeting women in an attempt to broaden their market and increase sales. The late 1920s saw the beginnings of major mass marketing campaigns designed specifically to target women. Cigarette manufacturers have for a long time subtly suggested in some of their advertising that women smoked, a New York Times article from 1927 reveals. But Chesterfield s 1927 Blow some my way campaign was transparent to the public even at the time of printing, and soon after, the campaigns became less and less subtle. In 1928, Lucky Strike introduced its Cream of the Crop campaign, featuring celebrity testimonials from female smokers, and then followed with Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet in 1929, designed to prey on female insecurities about weight and diet. As the decade turned, many cigarette brands came out of the woodwork and joined in on unabashedly targeting women by illustrating women smoking, rather than hinting at it.

   →  View Larger Image