Cigarette Advertising Essay, Research Paper
What are cigarette advertisements really selling you?
When we look at cigarette advertising in today s society we see that it portrays smoking as a non-harmful addiction. If you spend some time looking through a magazine, I guarantee that you will stumble upon at least seven different cigarette ads from such popular companies as Camel to Marlboro. Each ad gives you a different perspective at each brands ideal image of cigarette smoking.
Of course we all remember Joe Camel, the retired mascot for Camel cigarettes. Joe would be shown in many different ads all pimped out in his pink Cadillac with a sweet looking female camel in the passenger seat and he would always be smoking a cigarette. Since Joe was a cartoon and he showcased a badass image he was banned from Camel advertising for his appeal to young children. Since the loss of this cartoon pin-up the Camel Company has had to come up with some other ways to persuade you to buy their cigarettes. While I was flipping through an issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine looking for all the slamming ladies and also the article on how to keep my hair from frizzing up, I came across an ad for Camel cigarettes. What first caught my attention was the attractive woman in a fancy silver dress. She was standing on a stage and looked to be passionately singing into a microphone holding a cigarette in her hand, and they headlined the ad with the phrase Camel a pleasure to burn . When I saw all this, the sheer stupidity of this advertisement made me laugh. How could they show this women singing and smoking at the same time? Have you ever heard the coughing and wheezing of a smoker? No offense to anybody that smokes, but I doubt this woman could hold a note for more than fifteen seconds after smoking for a couple of years. What causes a person to buy Cigarettes such as Camel? Is it the pleasure they get after soothing their addiction with a nice smoke? Or is it the images that cigarette companies portray in their ads that show smoking as being the cool thing to do.
Attractive females in tight little dresses are not the only things that lure a person to a certain cigarette brand. Marlboro cigarettes choose a different theme when advertising their cigarettes. Marlboro Man who is Marlboro s main backbone in their advertising, portrays an image of a tough guy, you know kind of like the John Wayne type but not nearly as cool. Picture this, a couple of rough-cut cowboys dressed in jeans that are way to tight and a button up shirt that my grandfather wouldn t even wear because it s so out of style. Oh yeah you can t forget their trendy brown leather vest that goes perfect with their matching leather boots. Then picture three unenthusiastic cowboys herding cattle by horseback on a ranch. What does this have to do with smoking a cigarette? Most of Marlboro s advertisements do not even have a single cigarette pictured anywhere in the ad. If the name Marlboro wasn t plastered across the top of the page in gigantic letters you may have never guessed that this was a cigarette ad and not an advertisement for a family ranch vacation in Texas. So what exactly is Marlboro trying to show with this ad? I believe that they are trying to grab a woman s attention with the tough cowboy appearance. It s the same hook that Camel used in displaying a beautiful woman; it just might cause the reader to look twice.
But besides beautiful women and men cigarette companies have found other ways to advertise their product as more appealing to the eye. Say you see an advertisement in a magazine for a cigarette company; the advertisement places an ordinary man sitting by him self in a booth at a local diner. The lights in the diner appear dim, he has a frustrated look on his face and in his hands are a newspaper and cigarette. With the picture of this ad in your head would you consider it as appealing? I know I wouldn t find it too tempting. Cigarette companies put their actors in enjoyable situations to give their advertisement more of a positive feeling. But now picture that same advertisement but instead there is a group of people at the booth laughing, having a good time and smoking some butts after a hard days work. Doesn t that seem more pleasing than a lonely man? Cigarette companies know what it takes to sell cigarettes. They know what we are interested in and what attracts us and they put these pictures in their ads.
Cigarette ads hide one thing in their advertisements, the long-term effects of smoking. Remember the beautiful woman I mentioned that was in the Camel ad, do you think she ll be singing love songs in 30 years or even have her good looks after smoking for this long? There is a chance she may end up lying in a hospital bed with tubes trailing from her nose and neck. Those tubes help her breathe because her years of smoking caught up with her lungs and heart. There is only one thing you should pay attention to when looking at cigarette ads, and that the little white box in the bottom corner that says: SURGEON GENERAL S WARNING. That little box may just save your life.