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1938 Ad Camel Cigarettes Tobacco Ted Yochum - ORIGINAL ADVERTISING LF3

1938 Ad Camel Cigarettes Tobacco Ted Yochum - ORIGINAL ADVERTISING LF3

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This is an original 1938 color print ad for Camel Cigarettes from the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This cowboy prefers his Camels.


This 73+ year old Item is rated Near Mint / Very Fine+. Light foxing - right margin. No creases. No natural defects. Some light surface rub. No tears. No water damage.

  • Product Type: Original Print Ad; Color
  • Grade: Near Mint / Very Fine+
  • Dimensions: Approximately 10 x 13 inches; 25 x 33 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Camel Cigarettes.

In 1913, R. J. Reynolds created the packaged cigarette during a time when the masses rolled their own smoking tobacco. Camel Cigarettes came into almost immediate success after the tobacco company marketed the product in advance, rolling out ÒThe Camels are ComingÓ campaign that was meant as a teaser to pique the publicÕs interest in the product. The cigarettes were inspired by the Turkish paper it was rolled in and was meant to simulate exotic Egyptian cigarettes. The Camels contained American Burley, Bright leaf and Turkish Latakia with heavy additives to achieve the taste of the more expensive Turkish cigarettes. The flavor was marketed as a Turkish and Domestic blend, and was meant to be milder than other harsher smoking tobacco on the market.

Initially, Camels featured ÒOld Joe,Ó a cartoon camel depicted in the likes of the Barnum and Bailey Circus camel.

Two short years after Camels entered the market, the cigarette brand became the top selling U. S. Cigarette, as well as the first national brand to sell their product in all 48 states.

During World War I and World War II, soldiers received cigarettes in their war rations. When the war ended the soldiers returned addicted. In attempts to further increase cigarette popularity among the public, such tobacco companies as R. J. Reynolds would feature soldiers in their advertisements smoking cigarettes in the trenches.

The company promoted its cigarettes almost everywhere, including on billboards, in magazines and newspapers, on matchbook covers, on the sides of barns and in point-of-purchase retail store displays.

During the 1920s, Camel was among the ÒBig ThreeÓ cigarette companies that ruled the market, which also included Lucky Strike and L&MÕs Chesterfield cigarettes. By 1925, the camel brand controlled 40% of the market.

During the 1930s, when the power of radio was particularly strong in America, William Esty brought Camel into the mix and popularized a music series with Glen Gray, Bob Crosby, Xavier Cugat and Benny Goodman called Camel Caravan. From the 1930s until the 1950s, Camel sponsored other Esty radio productions, including the Bob Hawk Show (also referred to as Thanks to the Yanks), My Friend Irma and Blondie.

Camel also began to launch its fair share of propaganda during the 1930s, including its ÒHealthy NervesÓ campaign, which included images and endorsements from celebrity athletes, such as baseball player Mel Ott and tennis star Bill Tilden. The sports endorsers were meant to illustrate how Camels soothed unsteady nerves and made a person more capable, physically and mentally, to face any challenges life presented. A short time later, Camel launched its Òhealthful propertiesÓ campaign, which promised renewed energy.

During the mid-1940s, Camel claimed it had conducted an independent poll among thousands of physicians, which revealed that the majority of doctors who smoked preferred Camels over the other brands. The company also encouraged doctors to recommend their brand of slow burning Camels to patients who needed to adjustment their smoking habits.

During the 1950s television boom in the United States, Camel began sponsoring the NBC show, Camel News Caravan with John Cameron Swayze. The companyÕs marketing tactics continued to prove successful, and soon Camel ranked first in sales, followed by Lucky Strike and Chesterfield.

Between the 1950s and 1960s, the Tar Derby drove a large thorn into the sides of tobacco companies. One of the primary goals of the Tar Derby was to fight against heavy nicotine and tobacco tar cigarettes, as well as encourage the use of filtered cigarettes. Soon Consumer Reports began rating cigarettes by their nicotine level. However, not to be washed away by the antismoking groups, Camel swiftly marketed that its cigarettes contained 28% less nicotine than the other four leading cigarette brands.

In 1955, the FTC banned all references to health and digestion claims, as well as banned such terms as Òenergy,Ó ÒnervesÓ and Òdoctor.Ó Then, two years later, the Surgeon General released a statement linking smoking with lung cancer. Tobacco companies were forced to focus their advertising solely on taste and attempt to establish a long-lasting logo that would resonate among Americans.

Upon the 75th anniversary of Camel, McCann-Erickson advertising agency decided to reintroduce Old Joe in the ÒSmooth CharacterÓ campaign. When government officials and antismoking groups requested the character be withdrawn from CamelÕs advertisements due to its powerful influence on children and teens, the company vehemently protested. However, upon pointing out that since JoeÕs reintroduction into CamelÕs advertisements, the underage market jumped to 61%, Camel was forced to permanently withdraw the character in 1997.

Interesting Facts:

News broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who became a widely recognized figure in America after World War II, smoked four packs of Camel cigarettes a day and would often publicly promote the brand. Murrow, not surprisingly, died of lung cancer at the age of 56.

During the Tar Derby's push for filtered cigarettes, the micronite filter was introduced to block tar from entering the body, using asbestos. Major tobacco companies also began to fall in line with their own filtered brands, including R. J. Reynolds' Winston cigarettes and Ligget & Myers' L&Ms.

Copyright 2016, Period Paper LLC

Keywords specific to this image: Elise Schumacher, John Geraghty, Stuart Cameron, Gene English, Turkish Vintage Advertising