Date: 2003
Brand: Camel
Manufacturer: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Campaign: Singers & Performers
Theme: For your Throat
Keywords: Male, Singer, Flavored
Quote: Back alley blend with a hint of Bourbon.

Comment: Much like Camel s Pleasure to Burn advertisements, this ad harkens back to decades past for a vintage, older knows best attitude, while still taking a nod to the present. Here, a jazz singer belts into a vintage microphone while his band plays soulfully behind him. Though the scene looks like it could be from the Roaring 20s, the ad insists that the advertisement is for the official cigarette of the roaring 2000 s, bringing the scene into modern times. Additionally, the microphone in his ear signifies modern technology, which contrasts with the old-fashioned microphone he holds. This limited edition Camel cigarette is laced with Black Alley Bourbon, and the singer holds a lit cigarette and a glass of bourbon in his left hand as he performs. This limited edition cigarette represents Camel s continuing goal of attracting younger audiences to the brand. Camel s beloved cartoon dromedary, Joe Camel, had long been the brand s primary avenue through which it targeted teens before Joe s death in 1997. When the Joe Camel campaign ended, a new approach was needed to maximize sales to the target young demographic. Thus, in 1999, Camel began issuing exotic flavored blends each limited edition, released in special vintage-inspired tins. These flavored cigarettes were successful at hooking even the most inexperienced smoker, and in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of all flavored cigarettes except for menthols due to their tendency to lure children into smoking.

Singers & Performers

In the 1920s, tobacco companies began enlisting hundreds of celebrities to endorse their products. In these advertisements, movie stars, famous singers, athletes, and even socialites graced the pages of popular magazines, editorials, and newspapers printed across the country. The 1920s and 1930s were the heyday of celebrity endorsement, with celebrities hawking everything from cigarettes to soap, from pantyhose to cars. However, it seems that no company was as prolific in its celebrity ad copy as Lucky Strike.

Singers were vital components of celebrity testimonial campaigns for cigarette companies; the emphasis on healthy, clear voices in the singers line of work was an ideal avenue for portraying cigarettes as healthful, rather than harmful. The concept was that if a famous singer entrusted her voice and throat her source of revenue to a cigarette brand, then it must not be so bad! If it s good enough for Frank Sinatra, it s good enough for me, a consumer might decide. It is ironic, of course, that these ads also worked to reveal the possible side effects of smoking by providing a problem (irritated throats, for example) and a solution (smoke our brand.) Still, this problem-solution advertising was very popular at the time, and worked to position one brand as the exception to the problem rule or as the least problematic of all cigarette brands. It also served to trivialize health side effects of smoking, masking more serious side effects in the process.

Stars were also used to attract a younger crowd. Stars were glamorous and represented a walk of life attractive to consumers who were already invested in tabloids and the lives of the show business elite. It wasn t until 1964 that tobacco companies were banned from using testimonials from athletes, entertainers, and other famous personalities who might be appealing to consumers under 21 years of age.

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