Wednesday, 19 April 2017


It is time for the second blog post in which I will discuss a famous cigarette brand. Cigarettes started to become popular in the end of 19th century, they were far different from the ones we know today. There was no filter, the tobacco was very harsh, but people were still smoking them. Most of the people didn’t actually inhale the smoke and used cigarettes just like pipes, cigars etc. An evidence for that is the advertising campaign of Lucky Strike in the 1930s, Lucky Strike is asking customers “Do you inhale?” That might be strange for people nowadays, but with the time things changed and cigarette tobacco became milder which made inhaling more acceptable. The brand that I will tell you about today has also changed with the years adjusting to the changes in our world. The brand is called “Camel”.



Camel is a brand that was presented by an American company R.J.Reynolds Tobacco in 1913. Camel was an innovation because it was giving the customers packaged cigarettes. Most of the people who smoked back then used to roll their own cigarettes and there was no national market for pre-packaged cigarettes. Reynolds wanted to get a flavor that would be more appealing than any other tobacco products, he created the Camel cigarette, it was named like that because it used Turkish paper. Reynolds won over the competition by cutting the price of Camel down, within a year, Camel had sold 425 million packs of cigarettes. This way Camel became successful and continued with full force. Recently in the last ten years Camel is not the most preferred choice by customers, but it still stays one of the most famous cigarette brands.

-          Most current Camel cigarettes contain a mix of Turkish and Virgina tobacco.

-          Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the city where R.J.Reynolds was founded, is nicknamed “Camel City” because of the brand’s popularity.

-          The most famous historical style of Camel cigarettes is the soft pack of the regular, unfiltered variety (generally known as Camel Straights or Regulars).

-          Camel regulars got popular with the help of famous people such as the news broadcaster Edward R.Murrow, who used to smoke up to 80 cigarettes per day, in effect using a Camel cigarette as his trademark.

-          In the late 1980s RJR created “Joe Camel” as the mascot of the brand, few years later the American Medical Association published a report which stated that five and six year old kids could more easily recognise Joe Camel than: Mickey Mouse, Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny or Barbie.

What does Camel do to make people buy the product?

Camel has a long history in the tobacco industry and it has been very successful. The first thing that Camel did was to be innovative and different than the other companies back then. Second thing as I said is that the brand lowered the prices of Camel cigarettes which made a lot of people buy them. Afterwards Camel got better budget and made the quality of the tobacco better, customers appreciated that and kept buying Camel.

The advertising brilliance of Camel: Camel were made to have a milder taste than the other brands, which at that time were considered much harsher. Camel was advance-promoting, before the actual release, the brand launched an advertising campaign that included “teasers” which stated “The Camels Are Coming”(a play on the old Scottish folk song, “The Campbells Are Coming”). Another promotion strategy was the use of a Circus camel called “Old Joe”, it was driven trough town and used to distribute free cigarettes to people. The slogan of Camel back then was “I’d walk a mile for a Camel!” It is clear that the brand knew how to promote back then and it did it very well. All that clever campaigns helped massively for the popularity and the success of the brand.

The PR of the brand. The sponsorship was a wide variety of motorsport brands such as: Lotus Formula One team, Benetton Formula One team, Williams Formula One team, Honda, many cup races in NASCAR, Yamaha at Grand Prix etc. The strange sponsorship they did was the 1986 FIFA World Cup, football and cigarettes I don’t think they go hand by hand.

One of their Sales Promotions stands out: it was called “Camel Cash” or “C-Note” which was equal to five American cents, the note was stuck to the back of the Camel package. People were gathering this Camel Cash and after having enough they could exchange the “Cash” for items from the Camel Cash catalogue. It changed a lot over the years, at some point in the past it included the face of Joe Camel, the same way as presidents are featured on American currency. This very smart sales promotion finished ten years ago on the 31st of March, 2007.


Overall Camel is one of the best known tobacco brands in the world because of the way it was promoted, because of the way it was made, and because of the way it was sold. Although not very popular in the UK it is still very popular in the rest of Europe and in the USA. There are no more promotional activities allowed, so it will be interesting to see if Camel will go down or it will stay up.

If you are a smoker, after reading this posts, I am sure you want to have a cigarette, so go and have one. Doesn’t matter if you smoke or not look out for my next post in which we will be discussing alcohol again.


  1. As you said, I think on Camel as a really American brand, and have never really known people in the U.K to smoke them. Why do you think the Marlboro brand is so popular here when Camel have never really taken off in the same way?

  2. I think that Camel is a harsh brand, the logo is more exotic, and more percievable by people who live in warmer countries. People might also relate the animal "Camel" to the dessert, therefore something dry(their tobacco for exmaple).