Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Come and Smoke It!

Wednesday Advertising Day.

A new color scans seems as good an excuse as any to share a new load of Camels ads. The Camels series ran from 1943 to 1956 at least, which makes it one of the longest running comic ad series. It seems to have had different artists and appeared roughly every two weeks (just as most comic strip ad series ran bi-weekly). Although it didn't start out that way, pretty soon the series started using celebrity announcements. At first it was mostly sports men and women, but in the fifties they started adding movie stars as well. The color scan is a bit odd. It seems they redesigned the series for 1951, making it look a bit... oldfashioned. The Christmas ad also mentions Prince Albert pipe tobacco, which had it's own ad sries with Judge Robbins (shown here, but not named). If you follow the link you will find a whole lot of others, although you will also see that I neglected to remove that lot from my files and used it twice.

Oct 6 1946:

Oct 20 1946:

Nov 3 1946:

Nov 17 1946:

Dec 8 1946:

Dec 22 1946:

Jan 12 1947:

March 9 1947:

March 16 1947:

March 30 1947:

April 13 1947:

April 27 1947:

Jan 29 1950:

May 14 1950:

May 21 1950:

Sept 23 1951:

Feb 3 1952:

July 19 1953:

Oct 11 1953:

Jan 13 1954:

Feb 21 1954:

Jan 10 1956:


Alex said...

LIFE has an early use of comics in a Camel Cigarettes ad on the back cover, featuring Lou Gehrig, in the April 26, 1937 issue.


http://tenpoundhammer.com said...

Wow,that really blows my mind. I wonder how many people developed cancer as a direct result of these advertisements.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I believe legally the cut-off point that lawyers believe people could know about the link between cigarettes and cancer is somewhere in the early sixties. I don't know when the cigarette companies know, though.

Tabacco advertising was behind much of popular entertainment. In comics, it was not only Camels that advertised a lot but also Philip Morris and Lucky Strike to name two. But also in television and before that radio, cigarette advertising paid for a lot of well-remembered entertainment.

Smurfswacker said...

As one who grew up in 50s and 60s America, I can attest firsthand to the omnipresence of cigarette advertising then. TV, especially, was full of it. Legions of men in doctor suits assured us their product was mild, soothing, pure; while clever ad campaigns became part of the national culture (the Malboro Man, "I'd rather fight than switch," "It's what's up front that counts").

Back when a single sponsor supported an entire program, the show's characters would help out. On YouTube you'll find the closing credits for "The Flintstones" in which a flashing sign outside the Flintstone house advertises the sponsor's brand--not to mention the notorious commercial in which Fred and Barney sneak around in back of the house for a smoke while Wilma does the yard work.

When cigarette ads were banned from the air, for many years TV seemed "weird" because it was missing one of its most familiar components.