March 26, 2015
Philip Morris Cigarettes vs. Camel Cigarettes Before cigarette companies were scolded for running advertisements that promoted a product that hazardous, they successfully printed advertisements in newspapers and magazines to sell their products. Despite a national realization of cigarettes’ detrimental health effect, tobacco companies effectively marketed to a specific target. These companies have become excellent at marketing to a certain target audience. With many different advertisements all promoting the same thing, adjusting the advertisement to focus on one certain group of people becomes important. Camel and Philip Morris target different age groups by using stereotypical style, imagery, and rhetoric. The Philip Morris Company decides to focus in on a younger audience in the hopes that these new young smokers stick with their product throughout their smoking career. This advertisement was produced in the mid-1950s, which paralleled the beginnings of the Beats culture. The Beats, commonly known as the prelude to Hippies, were known for their experimentation with drugs, and their newfound love of the earth, so anything natural would attract this young and rebellious crowd. Page 17 of the June 1955 issue of Life Magazine states, “More Vintage tobacco makes Philip Morris naturally gentle and mild.” Words such as “vintage” and “naturally” appeal to this young “Beatnik” generation because they live in the present; they prefer a more old-fashioned approach when equated to the modern one. The amount of text involved with this advertisement seems minimal in comparison to the Camel advertisement. When targeting this generation, Philip Morris advertisers take an approach that requires less text and more colorful imagery. In a 1946 issue of Time Magazine, the new “Snap-Open” feature appeals to teenagers who seem to be looking for something new and improved. While the style of this certain ad seems to focus more on young women, it does target teenage boys as well. While boys do not act interested in the colors and appealing words, they look for something to sustain them. In this ad, this does not only include the large picture of an attractive young lady, but the sizes of the cigarettes listed at the bottom of the advertisement. The two sizes, “King Size or Regular,” seen in a 1955 issue of Time Magazine, appeal to boys and girls respectively.
While the Philip Morris advertisement targets this young and rebellious generation, the Camel ad targets older people. The advertisement appeals to the older more experienced smoking audience with what seems to be a handwritten letter from John Wayne. This adds a personal connection to John Wayne by sharing that he enjoys Camel cigarettes. In that era, most people enjoyed the movies that he starred in, and if not, they knew who he was and respected his opinion. Under the typewriter print stands a small italicized blurb of text. This blurb challenges the audience to try smoking only Camel cigarettes for about a month. By trying this challenge, even if they never smoked Camel cigarettes ever again, they will have bought a month’s worth of cigarettes. Challenging the older generation to try something new could not only change the habits of that older generation, but also those who admire and look up to those people. Style is not the only way to attract a certain audience. The imagery involved with the advertisement is very useful. The use of imagery in advertisements shows the audience how great their product is. They do this by having a picture of someone using their product (smoking a cigarette) or someone famous using their product. In the case of the Philip Morris advertisement, they have a young attractive girl smoking their cigarette. Not only does the girl happen to be attractive, she is also elegant and seemingly innocent. This image shares with young teenage girls that it is acceptable to smoke because the girl in the