Camel No.9: Light & Luscious

Camel Night: Midnight Madness

New Consumer Chief Faults R.J. Reynolds On Its 'Camel' Ads

LEAD: An hour after he was sworn in yesterday, New York City's Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Mark Green, took on one of the nation's largest tobacco companies, R. J. Reynolds, saying that it was ''inducing children to smoke.''

An hour after he was sworn in yesterday, New York City's Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Mark Green, took on one of the nation's largest tobacco companies, R. J. Reynolds, saying that it was ''inducing children to smoke.''

Mr. Green's specific target was an advertising campaign that uses a cartoon character of a camel - sometimes dressed in a tuxedo or wearing sunglasses, but always smoking and always with a beautiful woman nearby - to promote Camel Cigarettes. He said the use of a cartoon figure clearly appealed to young people.

In a letter sent yesterday to Nabisco's chairman, Louis V. Gerstner Jr., Mr. Green wrote, ''As the father of two young children and the new Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, I am appalled at your 'Smooth Character' Camel advertising campaign that risks addicting children to cigarettes.''

In the past month, R. J. Reynolds - a division of RJR Nabisco - has been criticized for its plans to market two cigarette brands, one aimed primarily at blacks and the other at young, blue-collar white women.

Carefully Orchestrated Campaign

A spokesman for R. J. Reynolds, David Fishel, said: ''As usual, he chose to release it to the media before he gave it to the company, which says to us that what he has done today seems to be part of a very carefully orchestrated campaign by anti-smoking activists to provide a publicity backdrop for the anti-smoking legislation hearings held in Washington today.''

The Senate Labor Committee is considering a bill that would give the Federal Government the power to ban dangerous additives from cigarettes and require that cigarette packs both list additives and carry a warning that smoking is addictive.

''The Camel campaign is three years old,'' Mr. Fishel said. ''It is not aimed at kids. We have seen no evidence in the three years of the program that it has any particular youth appeal.''

Mr. Green said his concern had been focused by an advertisement in Rolling Stone magazine, offering posters of the ''Smooth Character'' cartoon.

'Effort to Lure Children'

''It wasn't until I spotted the perforated fold at the bottom of the 'Rolling Stone' poster,'' which allows readers to delete the congressionally mandated warning label, that I decided to write you,'' Mr. Green wrote to Mr. Gerstner. ''Isn't this ad campaign an obvious effort to lure children into smoking in violation of the tobacco industry's own 1964 code against advertising directed at children?''

The letter went on to ask: ''Who watches and talks about cartoon characters, kids or adults? Who is impressionable enough to associate smoking and success and money, kids or adults?''

Mr. Green, 44 years old, was sworn in to the $97,000-a-year post by Mayor David N. Dinkins at noon, in the Board of Estimate Room at City Hall, with his wife, Deni Frand, and his two children, Jenya, 11, and Jonah, 5, at his side.

A senior campaign adviser to the Mayor, Mr. Green has long been a consumer advocate.

Camel Summer: Kauai Kolada & Twista Lime

Labels Seek Apology From Rolling Stone for Camel Ad

Pour bad journalism, shady advertising, and the music you love into the media cauldron, let simmer for a few weeks, and you get that ugly mess we reported about last week. Camelstonegate, let's call it. In summary: In a recent issue, Rolling Stone tucked an editorial section name-checking heaps of indie bands into a big ol' advertorial promoting a Camel Cigarettes campaign targeting indie rockers. A huge no-no for a number of reasons.

Nine states have already sued Camel over the fact that the "Indie Rock Universe" section was basically one big cartoon. (Using cartoons to sell cigarettes violates the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1997.) Now, not surprisingly, a bunch of labels representing bands unwittingly lumped into this whole scheme have stepped forward to demand an apology from Rolling Stone.

Today, an open letter to Rolling Stone signed by Kill Rock Stars, Touch and Go, Skin Graft, Lovepump United, Lucky Madison, the defunct 5RC, Audio Dregs, and Fryk Beat, was sent out by Kill Rock Stars' Maggie Vail. It begins, "We, the undersigned independent record labels wish to share our indignation regarding Rolling Stone's November 15th pull out editorial, which featured the names of our artists in conjunction with an ad for Camel Cigarettes."

The full text of the letter is available after the jump, but basically, these people are pissed that their artists' names were used without their consent to push product, and rightfully so.

As previously mentioned, Rolling Stone has insisted the ad and editorial content came together by mere coincidence, but KRS and the others are calling the publication's bluff. Ultimately, the labels "ask that Rolling Stone apologize for blurring the line between editorial and advertisement, and in doing so, implying that the bands named support the product being advertised."

Individual artists have also begun expressing their displeasure as well. The Daily Swarm points us to a Toronto Star report that suggests post-hardcore maniacs Fucked Up- one of the many stars of Rolling Stone's "Indie Rock Universe"- are planning to pursue legal action. They also weighed in on the issue in humorous fashion on their blog.

Fucked Up's litigious ire, however, appears to be directed toward music service Rhapsody, which allegedly licensed bands' music without their consent to the online version of the Rolling Stone piece.

Camel Advertisements

It’s no big secret, the producers of the Jerry Springer talk show knew exactly what would happen when they put the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panther Party on the same stage. The two groups started fighting and much of the nation tuned in to watch it. In the same manner, Camel Cigarettes Company released an advertisement that parodied that kind of TV program. The advertisement, titled “Bizarre Bigfoot Love Triangle,” shows the kind of scene that would be typical in a Jerry Springer episode. The characters consist of Bigfoot in the middle, two women fighting with bouncers attempting to hold them back, a host who pretends to look confused, and a cheering audience. “viewer discretion advised” label that is put on Camel advertisements. This is also a parody in itself of the new rating system that has evolved for TV, movies, and music recently. One of the abbreviations listed is BR which stands for “Big Ratings,” another comment that applies to Jerry Springer.
Anybody who has seen “Jerry Springer” knows the true reaction of most of the audience. Many people think that the show is funny, outrageous, and sometimes obscene. Sometimes, it is even considered comical, and that is what this ad is doing; it is appealing to people who are familiar with Jerry Springer and his show. When people see this ad they immediately think about the show, and that is what makes it work. It has little to do with the cigarettes; and except for the fact that Sasquatch is smoking one, there is no relation between the Jerry Springer show and the experience of smoking Camel Cigarettes. There just isn’t a correlation. One thing it could be implying, however, is that if one smokes Camel Cigarettes, that person will have scantily clad women fighting over him.
As for the target audience, it is directed primarily at men who like to watch or see stuff like the Jerry Springer show. In reality, this includes the age group that are younger than...


Camel is another example of a company that tries to tie itself to its customers of the past. The men in the Camel advertisements resemble the men found on the cover of the harlequin romance novels. Their bodies are too good to be true in that their muscles are over emphasized. The detailed features of these models can be associated with the brand of cigarette that they are representing. These male models all seem to be more computer generated than real. Their over defined features resemble the back of Joe Camel himself.
In 1988, the character Joe Camel was introduced to the public as a ploy to raise the diminishing sales of the Camel brand, which has been around since 1913. The campaign took the country by surprise because it played into the autonomous ego of the American male. "Joe was a confident and cool camel, who represented something that the American males aspires to become". This camel had a very high self-esteem and did all the activities that were traditionally associated with males. Joe Camel "soon became the embodiment of the American Adventurer".
Joe Camel was portrayed as an outdoorsman, a race car driver, a roguish gambler, a rock ban manager, and an Airforce fighter pilot. With all these activities under his belt, it is no wonder that the sales of Camel Cigarettes surged after he was introduced. It seems as though this Joe Camel campaign did exactly what Virginia Slims did when they first came out in the late sixties with the slogan, "You've come a long way, babe." Cigarette usage might have been on the rise among teenage boys like it was among teenage girls in the 1960s when Virginia Slims cashed in on their emotions. Unlike the girls of the 60s, the teenage boys might have been trying to look cool to their peers.
Being associated with the Joe Camel character might have automatically connected teenage boys with the activities that Joe carried out in his advertisements. If smoking could make an animal look cool, imagine what it could do for a human. Piggy backing on the low self-esteem of teenage boys, Joe Camel became a cultural icon in the late eighties and the early nineties. This character represented everything that America stands for: freedom of expression, personal liberty, and the pursuit of the American dream.
In the first advertisement that I have, the man reminds me of the character Author Fonzarelli (Fonzi) from the television show "Happy Days". He is wearing low cut washed out denim jean pants with a tight white tee shirt tucked into his jeans. In the sleeve of the shirt is a pack of Camel cigarettes as they did back in the fifties. There is nothing in the picture but the model and his belongings. The background of the advertisement is a blue green that reminds me also of the diner where Fonzi usually hung out. His hair also reminds me of something out of the fifties because it is combed the same way that Fonzi combed his. The sides are all slicked back with grease/moose, with the front sticking out in a little bang. Though the theme of the advertisement is the fifties, I could not help but to notice the beeper that is attached to his pants waist.
The next advertisement that I found for Camel is of a sailor coming home or leaving home. We can see that there is a journey involved because he is carrying a sack of clothes. There is a woman in this picture; she is lighting the cigarette in the sailor's mouth, as he cannot do it while holding his sack of clothes. This picture also dates itself through the lady's hairstyle and the clothing that they are wearing. The only thing that we can see of the lady's outfit is her shirt but the sleeves resembles those of the women in the fifties/sixties. The sailor's outfit is not that of modern day sailors. He is wearing a black/navy pea jacket with a white tee shirt underneath. His hair, under his white sailor hat, also reminds me of the fifties/sixties with the peak at the front. In this advertisement, the sunglasses that the sailor is wearing are something from modern day society.
The third Camel advertisement I found is one of a clean cut Colombo type detective. He is wearing a white button-up shirt, a black tie, brown raincoat, and a gray hat with a black ribbon on it. The collar of the raincoat is standing up in the back, as that is something that was commonly done in the fifties. Though there is nothing specific about this ad that says the fifties, anyone familiar with that time period knows its essence is present in the picture. The model is holding a burning cigarette, smiling as if he is enjoying the cigarette with a glimmer in his blue eyes. His blue eyes match the background of the picture. The earring in the picture suggests something modern, as piercing was this is something that was not done in the fifties.
The fourth and final Camel Advertisement is something straight out of an Indiana Jones picture. You have two men, one with a cigarette in his mouth and the other wearing the Indiana Jones type hat, both in an oversized pot supposedly cooking. There are five ladies: the two with dark hair are holding the men in the pot and the three blondes are seasoning the contents of the pot. This scene is taking place in a forestry area, obviously referencing the kitchen of the forest. It is difficult to tell if the ladies are trying to cook the men or save them. We know that they are trying to cook them but the expression on the men?s faces tells the audience that they are enjoying it. In the corner coming out from behind the Camel cigarette box is:
This warning is found in bold capitalized letters coming out of what looks like a movie ticket.
In the first three advertisements, the phrase "Pleasure to Burn" is repeated in the top center of the picture with the cigarette brand Camel written above it. This is to say that the brand brings pleasure to the man who smokes this brand. Camel can bring a smile to the faces of the most masculine of men. In a way this is Joe Camel living through the bodies of men. In these ?modern? advertisements for Camel Cigarettes Joe is the sailor, the cool guy, and the detective. For the fourth advertisement, however, we did not need to logo attached to the picture because it was obvious that these men we getting pleasure out of the heated torture that the ladies were giving to them.
On the left is a picture from the 1988 campaign for Joe Camel. On the right is a parody for Camel this character is called Joe Chemo.

Camel Winter: Winter MochaMint & Warm Winter Tofee