Collection: Kamel Modern
Marlboro has historically been the leading cigarette brand among youth, while Camel consistently pushes forward creative advertising concepts to gain youth market share from Marlboro and hook teens and young adults. The Red Kamel campaign of 1996 is just one of Camel’s many advertising techniques employed to target the previously uninitiated or new smoker. RJR’s “marketing objectives” with Red Kamel revolved around “adding new cutting edge associations to the Camel brand family” (1).
The Red Kamel brand slogan clearly targeted youth irreverence: “Back After 80 Years For No Good Reason Except They Taste Good” (2). The Kamel brand was first introduced in 1913 and existed until 1936 when R.J. Reynolds replaced it with today’s Camel brand. The limited time “reintroduction” of Red Kamel in 1996 provided a retro-vintage appeal to the brand, and RJR designed the ads to be “innovative—new and old at the same time” (3). An RJR spokesperson explained that the characters portrayed in Red Kamel ads were presented as “interesting, independent people,” indicating that “the type of person who smoked Kamels in the early 1900s would still smoke them today.” The Red Kamel campaign offered RJR a new youth marketing technique to replace the Old Joe Camel campaign which had just been “voluntarily” withdrawn.
One internal document explains that the brand positioning was “lust for living,” and that the product was meant to appear “lustier” as well as “rebellious, adventurous, authentic,” with a “hip, unexpected” style clearly targeting youth markets (4).
1. “Red Kamel & Kamel Menthe (Men-Th) Factbook.” 07 Jan 1999. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/tqm72d00
2. “RJR Re-Establishes Red Kamel Brand February 1, 1996 (960201) Statement and Q&A for Response Only.” RJ Reynolds. 01 Feb 1996. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/oml13d00
3. “Red Kamel Is Back!” Caravan. 08 Apr 1996. http://tobaccodocuments.org/nysa_ti_s1/TI56580057.html
4. “1997 (19970000) Business Planning Meeting.” RJ Reynolds. 17 Sept 1996. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/xyi72d00