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Camel Cigarettes

Joe Camel Taking a ShotClick here to shop for duty free Camels.

I n 1910, the most popular brands were Pall Mall, Sweet Caporals, Piedmont, Helmar and Fatima. By 1917 there are now 3 national brands of cigarettes on the US market: Lucky Strike, Camel cigarettes and Chesterfield.

In 1921, RJ Reynolds spends a whooping $8 million in advertising, mainly on Camel cigarettes. They also launch the highly successful "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel" ad slogan. By 1923, Camel cigarettes control 45% of the U.S. cigarette market! The following year, Phillip Morris begins to push Marlboro cigarettes as a woman's cigarette that is a "Mild as May"!
Camel Cigarettes
By 1930, the most popular brands were Lucky Strike, Camel cigarettes, Chesterfield, Old Gold and Raleigh.

By 1940, Camel cigarettes take the lead as the most popular brands were Camel cigarettes, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, Raleigh and Old Gold.

In 1950, the most popular brands are Camel cigarettes, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, Commander and Old Gold, so not much change.

Joe Camel at the Beach

By 1970, Camel cigarettes dropped off the top five as the most popular brands were Winston, Pall Mall, Marlboro, Salem and Kool.

Joe Camel in VegasIn 1987, R J Reynolds introduces Joe Camel. A North Carolina advertising agency uses Joe Camel to celebrate "Old Joe's" 75th anniversary. Four years later, the Journal of the American Medical Association publishes two reports on Joe Camel and kids. One study found that 91% of 6 year olds recognized Joe Camel, similar to the percent who recognized Mickey Mouse. The other study finds that since the inception of the Joe Camel campaign in 1987, Camel cigarettes share of the under 18 market has risen from 0.5% to 32.8%, worth more than $400 million per year in sales! The young character was portrayed as suave and sophisticated in different social settings, such as bars and pool halls. The campaign had helped to raise Camel cigarettes market share to 4.7% in 1996, from 4.4% in 1988, according to tobacco industry analysts.

As part of the industry's settlement with state attorneys general, tobacco companies agreed to eliminate human and cartoon figures in advertising — a move that doomed both Camel cigarette's Joe Camel and Marlboro cigarette's Marlboro Man.