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Kamel Krud


Red Camel Ads

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Red Kamel Voyeurs

Red Kamel ad featuring two male partisans and one female partisanKamel ads offer a range of embedded elements, ranging from the relatively obvious to those on the borderline of animation of Kilroy (of Kilroy was here fame)perceptual ability. The ad illustrated on the left for example, relies primarily on a combination of classic symbolic imagery, non verbal cues, and a couple of embedded images to make and enhance its message. As with the other Kamel ads discussed below, this ad paints a less than heroic picture of the male Kamel smoker, despite the military trappings of the male partisans in the background. An entirely different aura surrounds the females in the ads.

The key embedded images are, first of all, a voyeuristic face that becomes evident when the preceding page is turned.  It is on the right margin of the ad.  Incidentally, there is another voyeur looking at the same extremely capable woman from the same part of the margin in the next ad. Secondly, there is an impression of a rabbit superimposed on the woman's body.  It is shaped rather like the shadow one can make by using ones hands or knotted handkerchiefs and can be found across her genital area and the lower portion of her blouse. 

The symbolic element is, as might be expected, the train. Movie buffs might remember the conclusion to Hitchcock's North by Northwest? and the symbolism of trains entering tunnels in other classic movies. 

In addition to the embedded imagery, the non verbal posturing of the men indicates that the size of something seems to be important.    However, they are clearly incompetent. They could not make the earth move, even with a ton of TNT.   Despite what is often Extract showing the two finger 'salute'.Red Kamel ad with female partisan and train.stated in ads, size isn't everything. However, they don't know it.   In this case, regardless of size, the 'train' isn't going to enter any 'tunnel', even if the semi-subliminal suggestion is that the woman (all women?) is (are) supposed to be capable of acting and reproducing 'just like rabbits'. 

All these men are capable of doing is looking and boasting.  They couldn't achieve success with a woman and the producers of this ad know it. The woman is the 'real' man in this ad, the real Kamel smoker. And she is, of course, also the only one with an upright 'weapon'. She could show the men what to do but she isn't interested. Note the 'two fingered' salute evident in the cigarette smoke.

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Blood Red Kamel!

  Click for a larger, floating, image. Red Kamel ad featuring an usherette Recent Red Kamel ads seek to 'insert' ideas and associations into the minds of those who view the ads.    The viewers won't, of course, have any choice as to whether they accept the associations presented at a semi-subliminal level.  In fact, in some cases, such as the Usherette ad discussed here, they probably would not wish to consider the ideas consciously.  This may possibly be one reason why the imagery in this ad is small and presented very close to the borderline of perceptual ability.

There are three faint or out of focus, semi-subliminal, images emVargas Kamel pinup NO. 1bedded into this rather simple ad. The ad, as with others in the series, harks back to the W.W.II and post war years when usherettes wore pillbox hats (but tended not to pose before the cinema audience in the manner depicted in the ad).  Vargas did pin up art from 1920- 1979. Kenneth pointed out that Kamel Reds used Vargas pin ups on their packs but these were discontinued after a few months. The Usherette and other Red Kamel ads of a similar nature have thus been inspired by Vargas' ads.

The Usherette ad clearly intends, in one respect, to convey a sensuous message, if one judges the ad by the amount of leg and stocking displayed by the Usherette.  So far, all is amenable to conscious appraisal.  However, if you look in the hair of the Usherette you will notice a rather devilish looking face looking at the Usherette.   Is this intended to 'sum up' the lustful feelings of male viewers?    It does not seem so if one takes into account the second semi-subliminal image in this ad, there is little doubt that the type of message is rather complex - it seems to be a Piranha head or a head somewhat reminiscent of the creatures in the movie Alien - it is facing towards the right.  This image is placed just at the top of the Usherettes right leg.   It is in a position indicating that it may be intended to reinforce male fears of women in general. It also supports myths depicting such fears, of being 'castrated' by a toothed vagina . 

Thus, according to this ad, men who smoke Red Kamel cigarettes seem to be afraid of women. They would tend to treat them as sex 'objects' rather than as women.   Women on the other hand are to be perceived as active and in control, if not aggressive. The other Red Kamel ads discussed below ad weight to this interpretation. Women who smoke Red Kamel are encouraged to feel stronger and more assertive than men. As the third semi-subliminal excerpt reveals, they have 'men in the palm of their hands'.

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Baying at the Moon?

Click for a larger, floating, image. Red Kamel ad featuring a tank and three female soldiers with guns.  In the background are the silhouettes of wolves.Like the Partisan ad this ad has a W.W.II military feel about it. Wouldn't any ad that had a tank in it? But again it is the women who are the most 'macho', running forward with guns. The male tank commander can only find solace with a cigarette (Red Kamel presumably).

Is there any thing semi-subliminal in this ad that fits in with the previously identified theme of male incompetence/inadequacy and predatory women? Yes, there is.

Look on the wall above the running women and you will see the figure on the right. Wolves, baying away. Well, I guess howling is all the a Red Kamel smoker could do as the women have all the weaponry necessary to keep them at a distance. You could say keep them at bay (sorry, about that). The tank commander might be ready for action but he has, of course, lost his weapon(s). One is droopy (his 'belt'), the other (the tank's gun) is out of sight, off screen.

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It's a Woman's World

Click for a larger, floating, image. Red Kamel ad with Space Vixens versus a large Robot.The previous ads indicated that the psychographic profile of Red Kamel smokers were afraid of women and lacking some essential equipment. This ad continues the theme. Women are seen to be defensive and aggressive, easily keeping the robotic male at bay.

Additionally, whilst the ad with the partisans indicated that the men were arguing about the size of their equipment, this ad indicates that there is nothing to worry about. In fact, in robotic man such tackle just doesn't exist. Wipe-out!

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Left dangling

Click for a larger, floating, image. Red Kamel parachutist Here comes our hero again, dangling like a puppet. The overt message is that he is nonchalantly smoking a cigarette. More covertly it indicates that he is just as emasculated as ever and desperate for a fag.

Look at the gloved hand reaching for the Red Kamel packet. It doesn't show a relaxed individual at all. The 'face' on the glove is in Extract from parachute ad.need. In addition to that, consider how wrapped up the parachutist is. Given the overall theme of these Red Kamel cigarettes, the harness that is holding him can be considered to be the symbolic equivalent of swaddling clothes. This macho individual, so far as women are concerned, is really still a kid.


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On the Wisdom of Ages

There is something rather curious about the previous set of ads.

They are military. But then, again, the men are less than capable. The ads reflect sexual interest. But they also reflect anxiety about women. They thus are not oriented towards elderly survivors of war in Europe or elsewhere. So who are these ads intended to influence? The answer is seemingly adolescent youths. Adolescent males like to think they act like 'Wolves', they have an interest in women, are often anxious about their animated face masks.sexuality, argue about the size of their members, lust after women, see them as objects, etc. But in their adolescent reality, as opposed to their fantasies, it is women who have the upper hand. Women can be lusted after but any advances will be repulsed. Sexual success will elude the unfortunate Red Kamel smoker.

The corollary of course, is also apposite. The ads are likely to appeal to today's New Woman: young women encouraged to be forceful, assertive, to act self assured - and keep men in their place.

Red Kamel ads are not the only brand with advertising themes oriented towards kids. See the ads discussed on Kid's Stuff.

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No smoking sign.Future Developments

Would you be interested in supporting the development of a web site focussing specifically on cigarette advertising, smoking behaviour, nicotine addiction and related information? In particular would you like to help encourage youngsters to develop a healthy scepticism about advertising practices associated with cigarette advertising and promotion? If you can offer either financial assistance to develop such a site or have material available that could be of use on such a site, the author would be pleased if you would contact him.


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Commentary and information about any of the ads or requests on this Web site can be sent by e-mail to the Webmaster

To the best of the author's knowledge none of the illustrations, in the format used on this site, are subject to copyright. If copyright has been inadvertently breached please contact the author in order to rectify the matter. All brands and logos referred to or illustrated on this site are the property of the relevant companies and copyright holders. However, commentary and other information produced by the author can be freely copied and distributed. Similarly, illustrations of ads, so long as they are accompanied by commentary or are presented in the form of parody, can also be copied and distributed but please acknowledge as the source. Translation of tobacco company ads and relevant commentary into languages other than English will be particularly welcomed.

Last Revised: 3rd January, 2003


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