Collection: Your Disposition
In a prime example of marketing wizardry, tobacco advertisements have simultaneously presented cigarettes as both sedatives and stimulants. Ads worked to convince consumers that cigarettes would calm the smoker when he felt nervous, or pep him up when he felt sluggish.
In these ads from the mid-1950s, Camel claims that their cigarettes will improve a smoker’s “disposition.” The majority of the ads in this campaign feature testimonials from celebrities, like actor Rock Hudson ot Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent Marguerite Higgins, each claiming that Camels offered them relaxation or pleasure. Additionally, each ad includes a funny cartoon portraying a man or a woman with the head of an animal, bringing to life metaphors like “as mad as a wet hen” or “feeling badgered.” By comparing human feelings of annoyance to those felt by animals, Camel is able to drive home how “natural” these feelings are, and insinuate that by smoking a cigarette, humans can rise above their animal counterparts and become productive members of human society.
The ads employ faulty logic to convince readers of Camels’ relaxing attributes. First, the ads claim that Camels provide smokers with pleasure. Then, they claim that “it’s a psychological fact” that “pleasure helps your disposition.” Thus, the reader infers that in order to improve his or her disposition, he or she must smoke Camels.
A decade later, Camel rehashed the same campaign in a new format: The new ads claimed. “Camel Time is pleasure time,” whereas the slogan from the 1950s had been, “For more pure pleasure – have a Camel.” The new campaign also hinted toward an improved “disposition,” claiming that “moments seem to brighten up every time you light one up.”