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Smokes like a Cigarette

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It’s impossible to escape the media in the 21st century. Everywhere one turns there’s an advertisement, logo, or brand name looking them in the face. Just the way the industry wants it to be. The cigarette industry has figured out how to use this to their advantage. Cigarette corporations have capitalized the industry. Every year hundreds of thousands of people die from smoking-related causes alone. According to the American cancer society, in 1982, the Surgeon General’s report stated, “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality in the United States.” Seeing that this was true in 1982, it still stands fact today (Cigarette Smoking). How has the industry so widely accepted the fact that something so harmful can be marketed and sold to others? Throughout the last century, advertising of cigarettes has become a second nature and Many people don’t even realize that they are being targeted by these ads. In the last century, however there have been two campaigns that stand out most. Introduced by Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, these advertisements have transformed the industry.

R.J.Reynolds, or better known as the founder and Manufacturer of Camel Cigarettes, released Joe Camel to the United States in 1987. He was aimed at America’s youth, and was successful in doing so. Joe Camel was soon recognized as one of the most popular cartoons and seen at the same level as Mickey Mouse or Fred Flintstone. When looking at the advertisements, it’s easy to see how he gripped the U.S. in his money-hungry hands (Joe Camel).

Smoking can be seen as a “cool” thing to do. Peer pressure plays a role on those who want to fit in. When asked to smoke, they can be persuaded by being told ”all the cool kind do it.” This same aspect is portrayed in the ads, without actually saying those exact words. When looking at the ad, one can see that Joe Camel is America’s version of cool. His creator wanted to infuse what America viewed as cool into the character and did this in a number of ways. Looking through some of the clever and even gaudy Joe Camel advertisements, he can be seen wearing sunglasses; his well-built huMan-like body is showing through his tight black shirt, which is tucked into his blue jeans. His pack of cigarettes stored in the rolled up sleeve, and always had one in his mouth. This style was found in America’s youth. Blue jeans had just taken the U.S. by storm. Guys wanted to be buff in their plain tee’s and girls wanted their guys to be like that, and that’s how he caught the attention of the exact targeted demographic. Just looking at these ads, the viewer instantly sees how flashy these ads really are, bringing the appeal through has actions, whether it be relaxing on the beach, sitting next to his cool car, or at a nightclub. Joe camel was a cartoon version of what could be seen as cool.

Joe Camel could be seen everywhere. Whether it is in a billboard, on TV, or in a magazine. Everyone as a signature smoker easily recognized him. After running the ad for 4 years, R.J. Reynolds realized that this mascot could be used to draw in an even younger demographic. They soon produced stuffed animals, and children’s toys all featuring the infamous Joe Camel. Although this was a good idea on the Corporation’s part, drawing in even more customers and getting them hooked at a young age it was not accepted by a lot of the anti-smoke activists (Joe Camel). This, along with times changing and styles calling for something new, Joe Camel met his demise July 10, 1997 (Joe Camel). Camel had created an American icon. Reinventing their form of advertising and sending their sales through the roof. Although Joe Camel caught the media by storm, becoming an advertising icon, he was still just a come-and-go campaign. Joe was just created in order to battle the most effective campaign in the history of smoking, The Marlboro Man.

First introduced in the 1950’s Phillip Morris was struggling to increase their market. In the first half of the century, Marlboro had been seen as a very feminine cigarette, which cut their market in half. Trying to battle this, The Corporation had a brainstorm. Sitting in a conference room, they were answering the question, “what is the most masculine symbol you can think of?” Thus Marlboro created a handsome, rough and working Man. Completely changing their market’s view on the cigarette that was once only for women. And instantly making their sales skyrocket (The Marlboro Man).

Where Joe camel was a cartoon, Marlboro completely changed their image by representing themselves as the cigarette used by real people, and what better of a real person than an attractive version of the “average man”. None of their advertisements contained actors, rather real men performing real tasks. Although more commonly known as a cowboy,

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