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That’s Pretty…Pretty Deadly! March 29, 2007

Posted by jsaffold in Uncategorized.

Camel No. 9

The March issue of Cosmopolitan and the April issue of Glamour both featured a full-page, double-sided ad for these new Camel cigarettes, “Camel No. 9.” The new brand is blatantly intended to appeal to women with its sleek packaging and hot pink and teal accents. Even the usually cartoony Joe camel image is substituted with a small, probably intendend to be sophisticated camel logo. When I first saw the ad I immediately thought of the perfume Chanel No. 9, which is obviously being imitated with these cigarettes. This article explains how the new brand is an attempt by the cigarette company, RJ Reynolds, to attract more female consumers. Apparently, Camel is a brand consumed mostly by men. When I first saw the ad, I couldn’t really believe it was for cigarettes. It was printed on stockcard paper, which made the magazines open right to the ad, which was located right in the middle. I was attracted to the colors and design of the ad and it took a few seconds before my brain registered that it was a cigarette ad. Even though I am an asthmatic and thus an adamant non-smoker, I couldn’t help but be “wooed” by the ad’s bright color scheme, flowers and fun, whimsical design. It is troublesome that this type of ad is so prominently featured in magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan, which, as the New York Times article says, have many young readers in their late teens and twenties. I suppose that this type of advertisement is not quite as bad as the television ads and billboards that show young, glamorous women smoking and having a fabulous time, but it seems highly hypocritical to run such a big ad when the same magazines offer tips for quitting smoking, getting clearer skin, becoming more fit and healthy, and so on, all qualities that smoking directly hinders. All I could think was that perhaps the payout was too big to resist, but even that doesn’t seem to justify running an ad so opposed to what these health-beauty-fashion magazines supposedly stand for. With this advertisement, women are obviously being targeted, especially with the associations and allusions to high-end perfume. This relates to the Barthes article we read for class–merely by looking at the ad and its “light and luscious” text (linguistic message), women are meant to think of a glamorous lifestyle, in which these cigarettes would play a part.


1. sindhub - April 12, 2007

This reminds me of how a lot of women’s magazines also encourage you to be confident in yourself and have a positive self-image “no matter what size,” but those magazines are the same ones featuring homogenous, one-size (really thin) models. There are a lot of conflicting messages about weight out there.

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