Collection: Salem Modern
Recent Salam ads blatantly target youth. Earlier Salem ads (“Salem Spirit”) from the 1980s used a technique largely reminiscent of Newport’s long-lived “Pleasure” campaign, spotlighting groups of young friends having fun in athletic, outdoorsy settings. The 1990s saw Salem’s “Refreshest” campaign, which targeted teens and adolescents with mind-boggling images like a woman relaxing on a pool floatie inside of a grand piano filled with water, or, similarly, a couple lounging in the pick-up of a truck, also filled with water. Some Salem ads from the 2000s feature the slogan, “Stir the senses,” and each ad depicts a model smoking in green, mentholated ecstasy. These scenes appear drug-induced, and even RJR’s description of the ads brings into question recreational drug-inspiration: “One ad pictures a woman extending her arm to interact with two dragonflies that are swirling around a burst of light. Another execution features a man gazing at a swirling green galaxy, with the reflection of the galaxy appearing in his sunglasses”.
Other Salem ads from the 2000s reveal clear youth targeting through a risk-taking appeal with the slogan, “Step Inside. It’s Not What You Expected,” or “There’s More To It.” This slogan invites uninitiated youth to try smoking. For example, one of the ads presents an “underground” party, another presents a couple with an intertwining, extreme tattoo, and a third presents a scantily clad woman riding on the back of a man’s motorcycle – all in urban settings. The ads are complex and difficult to capture in 1-dimensional scans on our Web site, as they often consisted of 4-page spreads. The front cover of the spread would show a “familiar image” with a cutout window revealing a small part of the next page. When the front cover is flipped over, the full spread originally indicated by the cutout is revealed to be “an entirely different design, unexpected by the reader” (2). This type of innovative print advertising is even more appealing to youth.