Why Buy Cigarettes
How does an industry that has been singled out as containing deadly carcinogens encourage people to buy their product? The two ads I have chosen to analyze are about cigarettes. Both ads date back to the early 1980’s and are name brand cigarettes (Camel and L&M). They show people enjoying their cigarettes, expressing that smoking is a good thing and is a natural part of their life. Both ads we are viewing try to make it appear that everyone should be smoking.
The Camel Lights ad features a middle-aged, white male crouching down on some rocks in a creek bed of running water, lighting his cigarette just before he fills his canteen with water. The man is wearing tan boots, gray slacks, white button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up past the elbow, and a tan utility vest. The background has a late model Land Rover covered in mud parked next to the creek bed with the backdrop showing rolling hills of high grass and a setting sun. The ad shows a package of Camel Lights on the left side of the screen with the words “Today’s Camel Lights, unexpectedly mild” under the package.
The L&M ad features Barbara Stanwyck in an extravagant black evening gown that shows her shoulders and short blonde curly hair. She is wearing a blooming silver flower around her neck and a matching pair on her ears. She also has on a very large, beautiful square ring with a large dull gem surrounded by small diamonds on her wedding ring finger with a matching watch. The ad shows a package of the L&M on the bottom left side of the ad with an arrow pointing to it and the words “NOW KING SIZE OR REGULAR” in the tail of the arrow. This ad also has a statement “THIS IS IT! L&M FILTERS ARE JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED” in big letters above the package of cigarettes with Barbara Stanwyck’s signature underneath.
The Camel Lights ad targets middle aged men more than any other group. They further the profile to make it seem like smoking the Camel Lights...
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