A Bumpy Camel Ride

The Ringmaster’s gotta tell you, camels are not the friendliest beasts you’ll ever come across. And ladies, the cigarettes named for them are not going to be your best friends either.

camels_9.jpegJust because your dad or granddad used to “walk a mile for a Camel,” doesn’t mean you should follow in his footsteps. The subject at hand is Camel No. 9, and a piece of marketing that makes old circus hucksters like us shake our heads in grudging admiration. R.J. Reynolds makes it sound like its latest product was created just for you, and is very much in step with your hoped-for glamorous lifestyle.

“The name is supposed to evoke “cloud nine” or being “dressed to the nines,” according to Reynolds marketers, although some think it may also suggest luxury perfumes like Chanel No. 19 and romantic songs like “Love Potion No. 9…. the company is reaching out to women with slogans like “light and luscious,” hot pink and teal packages and ads adorned with flowers.” New York Times editorial

Search this new brand online, and you’ll see how successful Reynolds has been in building a buzz for it. And if it’s supposed to bring back memories of “Love Potion Number 9,” it’s worth remembering that the singer, before sampling that old aphrodisiac, says “I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink.” In this case, holding your nose may be a good idea. But please keep your eyes wide open as to what you’re being sold.

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