Joe Camel: The Jolly Killer Essay

1866 words - 7 pages

Joe Camel: The Jolly Killer What's little, smelly, harmful to your health, and once caught it's hard to get away from them? No, it's not someone's pesky, younger brother. It's the world's worst enemy Mr. Joe Camel and his squad of cancerous friends. Thousands of teenagers are lighting up a cigarette for the first time every day. Some will not continue, some may never fall victim to peer pressure, though many will become addicted. Advertising agencies jobs are to compete with similar companies, sell their products, and entice new buyers. For years the tobacco industry has sensed the purchasing power of teenagers, and enticed America's youth with images of healthy, beautiful people smoking. Cigarette advertisements, which are secretly intended for teenagers, encourage illegal purchase of tobacco products, yet they refrain from including the serious health risks in their message. Mickey Mouse sells Disney products. Joe Camel sells cigarettes. Advertisements attempt to influence viewers into purchasing their products or services. "The general role of advertising is to communicate accurate information and to influence attitudes and beliefs" (Kotler 47). Joe Camel is communicating the same genial tone as Mickey Mouse, yet his products are far from toddler friendly. There are several different kinds of advertisements. First, there are factual ads which tell ingredients, effects and general truths. Then there are suggestive ads which portray images of people who may use the product, or associations of a product with settings or emotions. Cigarette ads are suggestive ads. If they told consumers to expect lung cancer and heart disease from smoking, not many people would smoke. Instead, advertisements show slim, healthy, beautiful women or rugged, sexy, manly men. They send the message that smoking creates maturity, power and independence. They appeal to the insecure and power hungry youth who are dying to grow up…literally. In the early 1900's, men were more likely to smoke than women. With a rise of women smokers, the tobacco industry realized that they had a wealth of new consumers to draw in. A.D. Lasker, an advertising expert, was hired by the American Tobacco Company to create Lucky Strike advertisements. He printed images of slim women puffing away and inferred that smoking was an aid to diet control and weight loss. Lucky Strike's new slogan was, "Reach for a Lucky Strike Instead of a Sweet" (Gunther 102). Since then, advertisements aimed at women have been promoting the beautiful, sexy smoker image. Parliament promoted feminine cigarettes with so-called ivory or ruby tips that supposedly protected a woman's pretty lips. They neglect to include the yellow teeth, possible halitosis, and coughing fits that are often consequences of regular smoking. What is worse is that until the early 1950's, cigarettes were unfiltered. Filtered cigarettes keep many of disgusting chemicals away from the throat and lungs. This was an...

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