Camel Cigarettes. Advertising in 1983

#2) At spot 2, we have a Camel magazine advertisement. This is a bit older, but it is still an effective advertisement. The ad shows a picture of a man, an adventurer, who is lighting a cigarette in a field just in front of some mountains. The man looks tough with his adventure clothes, his hairy arms, his messy hair…and, of course, his moustache. Across the top of the ad is the Camel logo spelled out and, just below it, a sentence that reads, “Where a man belongs.” This advertisement is definitely using stereotypes of manhood to reach out to its viewers. This sense of manhood could appeal to any man out there who wishes he could go on more adventures, or spend time out in the bush…but maybe smoking a Camel cigarette is the closest thing he can get to that sense of adventure.

The objective of this campaign is to recruit smokers, new or existing, and have them start smoking Camels. Marlboro only used cowboys, but Camel is using an adventurer who explores more than just the plains of Texas or Montana. This reaches a broader audience. The objectives could be measured through higher Camel sales, versus lower sales of other competitors. The target market is definitely men. There is not much in this advertisement for women…so it has to be catering, specifically, towards men. The ad wants men to go out and buy Camel cigarettes…plain and simple. If you are smoking another brand, the ad is also asking you to switch over to Camel cigarettes. The benefit for smoking Camel cigarettes, according to this advertisement, is that you will fell manly and free. By smoking a Camel cigarette, you have officially entered a realm of manhood not otherwise achievable. You will feel as free as an explorer mapping the countryside and searching for treasure. You will be able to survive in difficult terrain or situations. These are the specific reasons a man would want to purchase a pack of Camel cigarettes over another brand.


#1) In at the number one spot is a BMW magazine advertisement. The advertisement is a picture of a man lying on top of a woman, only in her underwear, in bed…in what looks like a hotel room. Both of the models have fit and toned bodies and the lights in the room are on bright. The man is looking down at the woman’s face, but her face is covered by an opened magazine with a two page image of a BMW 3-Series sedan. In the middle of the image is the sentence, “The ultimate attraction.” In the top right hand corner of the page are two small, white, boxes. One box has the BMW logo in it, the other has brief information about the BMW 3-Series sedan. As we all know, sex sells…but so does humor! So this advertisement has combined them both. The advertisement suggests that the BMW 3-Series sedan is so attractive, that it is even more attractive than someone you are about to have sex with.

The objective of this campaign is to get people interested in the BMW 3-Series sedan by telling everyone how good the styling is on the car…how beautiful the car is. The objective isn’t necessarily measurable since BMW buyers are separate from non-highline buyers, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This advertisement, I’m sure, helped convince some people out there that the BMW 3-Series sedan is more beautiful than they once thought…but how to do you measure that? The target market for this advertisement are people in the market for a new vehicle, but people who are looking for highline vehicles (A highline vehicle is just a luxury brand vehicle…typically more expensive than other cars).

The ad wants viewers to take a look at the BMW 3-Series sedan. The more people who stop to look at the car, the more people who may fall in love with the design and want to buy one. If the viewer acts on this advertisement, looks at a 3-Series sedan and then buys one….well they’ll be driving a car that is more beautiful than the men/women they find sexually attractive. Maybe they’ll become more desirable for driving such a good looking car! The reason a viewer would buy a BMW 3-Series sedan is because they like luxury cars and have the money to buy one.


  1. Wow,
    I actually laughed out loud looking at the BMW ad and reading your reflection on it. What specifically made me laugh is the fact that…you are right. Sex sells. I think it could also be interpreted that while they are about to have sex the only thing on his mind is the car. He looks at her but sees the car of his dreams. How amusing this ad is. I don’t know, but something makes me believe this is a bit of a put down on women and my feminist side strikes up against this ad. Why is this magazine on her FACE! I am surprised that the advertising team of BMW got away with this one. Good job conducting the analyses you have chosen quality ads.


    1. What’s funny is that there is another version of this where the woman has the magazine on the man’s face! I kid you not. BMW made sure both sexes got to see their dream BMW…ha ha.


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