Camel cigarettes. A drop of nicotine kills a camel
It all started back in 1913. That was the time of numerous tobacco experiments. And among other things, new ways of smoking began to come into fashion. For example, with the help of special machines, cut tobacco was wrapped in thin white paper. Such cylinders were called cigarettes and were packaged in convenient paper or cardboard packs. These pieces quickly gained popularity among consumers. Not surprisingly, RJR founder and owner Richard Reynolds decided to keep up with new trends.
Having gained a hand in the production and sale of pipe tobacco, Reynolds zealously set to work. To begin with, he bought the Red Camel brand. Shortened the name to just "camel". They say that the choice of the visual image of the brand was influenced by the general passion for the Middle East, characteristic of America in those years. Whether old Richard was inspired by Arabian tales is not known for certain, but he conducted an advertising campaign that was truly magical.
Today, you will not surprise anyone with an advertising technique with pumping up expectations. But in those distant times of the marketing childhood of mankind, this was a real revelation. Deciding that a camel was not only a memorable bright picture, but also an excellent occasion for advertising innovations, RJR specialists, a few days before the first batch of cigarettes went on sale, gave cryptic ads in newspapers in almost ninety American cities.
“Camels,” read the first of them. While the Americans were turning their brains trying to figure out what was happening, the next announcement caught up with them. "Camels are coming"! The people have not yet had time to decide whether it is necessary to quickly get out of these places, or to repel the hunchbacked invasion with the help of guns and faithful Colts, and here again right in the brain - “Tomorrow there will be more camels in the city than in Asia and Africa combined! Those who did not end up in a psychiatric hospital that day in order to heal with a fashionable lobotomy, the next morning, they finally learned the whole truth. “Camel cigarettes are here!” read the final announcement. Yes, you don’t want to, but you will smoke from such marketing experiments.
Spirit of freedom
Literally from the first days of its existence, this tobacco brand has effectively exploited the spirit of wandering and a sense of adventure. In addition to pictures with views of distant Africa and slogans like “The beginning of a new insight,” the male image was reinforced, for example, by the fact that Camel cigarettes were part of the rations of American soldiers of World War II. A sailor or a soldier going ashore and taking a Camel cigarette out of a crumpled pack has become a common Hollywood image.
But RJR was not the only American tobacco brand to rely on timeless masculine values. In 1954, the Marlboro brand came into play. Their advertising cowboy appealed not just to the spirit of adventure, but to the very essence (albeit mythologized) of the men of the American nation. Not surprisingly, Camel cigarettes began to lose consumers reaching for the red and white packs. Something had to be done. The result of a long search was the organization of the famous adventure advertising project, in which the spirit of wandering and a real masculine character were able to find their embodiment. In 1980, the first Camel Trophy tournament was held. Over the 20 years of its existence, this confrontation between will, cars and nature has taken place in 24 countries, and 160 teams took part in it.
Too old for adventure?
But, despite all attempts, Camel cigarettes failed to beat the competition. In addition, the turn of the 2000s has come. Men are no longer attracted to the image of a dirty and unshaven conqueror of nature. They wanted comfort and sophistication. Active recreation has become more and more associated with a healthy lifestyle, which did not combine with nicotine in any way. In addition, Camel cigarettes failed to gain leadership in the promising markets of the former socialist countries - Russia and China. The reason is simple - people preferred Marlboro. Not for taste, but for the fact that these cigarettes were a symbol of the forbidden capitalist paradise. And the forbidden fruit is known to be sweet.
In 1999, RJR sold the Camel brand to the Japanese company Japan Tabacco. The advertisers of the Land of the Rising Sun decided that only an urgent and serious rebranding would save the Camel. And it began. The adventure was quickly forgotten. In 2000, the Camel Trophy project was curtailed. The bet was made on the refinement of taste and the long history of the brand. The packaging became more and more restrained, until it became a brown or gold box with a silver spot hinting at a camel. In general, Camel is trying to keep up with modern men and claim to be an elite premium brand. Who knows, maybe the Japanese will succeed.
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