June 8, 2009

joe_camel

 

I chose not to use an advertisement that can be seen around anymore because of how controversial it was.  Joe Camel was the advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes until 1997.  The controversy was that the “Joe Camel” campaign violated federal law by enticing children to smoke.  By using a “cool” cartoon character camel as their mascot kids would become interested.  I chose this advertisement because of how popular it was for so many years and how controversial it was.  Though it clearly gave a nudge for children to smoke Camel cigarettes it was a great idea on the part of Camel cigarettes.  It must have worked for them.  I don’t smoke and never would but I could see as a kid being interested in a commercial or other advertisement with a cartoon camel.  The camel affected public space by showing the camel as a cool, masculine, macho guy smoking cigarettes.  It made it seem like it was the cool thing to do.  Obviously this attempt is very problematic for the reasons stated above.  I tried to pick an advertisement that people may not think about because it has not been around for so long.  Yet, it is a very interesting example especially pertaining to its use in public space.

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3 Responses to “”

  1. legries Says:

    What is so obvious to me in looking at this ad is the phallic portrayal of Joe’s face and his seducing stance…His body position raises an interesting point about signs in that bodily gestures can be signs. Had we read the chapter on interaction order in our course texts, we would have learned how to read people’s bodies much like we read other signs in place. Chris posted an ad that was banned in Europe, I think, because it was too graphic for children. Interesting how the “perversion” of this ad seems so innocuous in comparison just because of low modality created by the medium….

  2. alevtow Says:

    I thought this was such an interesting ad as well becuase of what it is trying to portray. Clearly by showing Joe as such a “cool” figure by his stance, glasses and attitude it makes it seem that by smoking you are then as cool as he is. This sends such a bad mesage to kids today and is trying to make them smoke which is a horrible message to send out to children. This ad is clearly very controvercial.

  3. kanangle Says:

    HA! this is so funny we posted the same picture! As you said we mentioned about the same things.. like how the company aimed at younger kids by using the camel, and the fact that the camel in these ads are always looking cool or seductive. Its also good that you mentioned how controversial these ads were, before they were banned in magazines or in public spaces, good job!


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