Cigarette Ads are Bullshit

          More than 5.5 millions tobacco consumers die every year (thetruth.com). The tobacco industry makes billions of dollars every year. The tobacco products are produced by the trillions every year. Tobacco is portrayed and sold as something that is perfectly harmless, especially in advertising, when it is killing hundreds of people every day. Tobacco ads seemed to have made their biggest mark in the mid 1900’s when they showed beautiful people doing beautiful things in beautiful places. They generally showed the guy who had his fancy car and the girl who was beautiful beyond belief and they were both smoking cigarettes. The image has to be that beautiful people smoke cigarettes so that the consumers would continue to buy a product that is detrimental to their health. The ad in this paper is on Tipalet; a flavored cigarette from the 70’s that “only the best men” smoke.

          The background of the ad is yellow in the center and fades out into a burnt orange color. The colors are used to be inviting and warm, because they are the colors of sunshine. People will be drawn to the warm colors and feel more comfortable. Instead of feeling like the poster is cold and distant the person will want to look at this because they will feel the sunshine radiating at them off of the page, and who doesn’t want to feel warm sunshine. There are two characters in the ad, a man smoking a Tipalet and a woman who he is blowing his smoke at, so that she can smell the “amazing” flavor. The woman is gorgeous, she is perfectly tanned with long brown hair, and fan-like eyelashes that go around her big brown eyes that are staring at this very handsome man who has a chiseled and perfectly rugged chin and perfect facial structure that blows the smoke perfectly in the beautiful woman’s face. The woman is wearing a white, sleeveless, v-neck t-shirt, which is another hint that they may be in a warm comfortable place. They are people who look like they should be movie stars or at least models in the magazines. The woman appears to be enjoying the smoke that is being blown in her face by this very handsome man. The ad is warm, beautiful and full of happiness, so the consumer feels like they will have a warm and beautiful life that will resemble the advertisement.

          The writing in the ad is mainly a small white font that reads “Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.” This insinuates that the woman is mesmerized by the smell of the flavored cigarette, so mesmerized that she will follow the man anywhere he goes. The submissiveness of a woman is being played up, the Tipalet smoke is supposed to bring that quality out in the woman. This can also have a sexual meaning, because if a beautiful woman is willing to follow a man anywhere, then she is even willing to follow him to his bedroom. This ad is directed toward a male audience, because they are the ones who typically want beautiful women to follow them around, especially to their bedrooms. The male looking at this ad may think that he can even get a girl as beautiful and submissive as the woman in the ad to follow him around and do whatever it is that he wants her to do.

          The ad also has a box that says, “Hit her with tangy Tipalet Cherry. Or rich, grapey Tipalet Burgundy. Or luscious Tipalet Blueberry. It’s Wild! Tipalet. It’s new. Different. Delicious in taste and aroma. Oh yes… you get smoking satisfaction without inhaling smoke.” It also has another part that says, “Smokers of America, do yourself a flavor. Make your next cigarette a Tipalet.” and the word Tipalet is much larger than the other words on the tan box. There are images of the boxes of the four flavors of Tipalet, and there is also the price below that. The box is conveniently placed over the man to show the fair amount of cleavage that the woman is exposing. This may be another way of adding a sexual connotation, because this is a place that a man’s eyes are easily drawn to. This part of the ad is in the lower right corner because it is important, but the image needs to be portrayed more than anything else, so that the consumer gets a good view of what they could have if they also smoked Tipalet flavored cigarettes.

          Unfortunately life isn’t as beautiful as they have portrayed it in this Tipalet advertisement. Majority of the people who smoke die from a smoking related illness, like lung cancer. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in America. Another ugly truth is that half the people exposed to cigarette smoke die because of a smoking related illness, even if they have never smoked.TheTruth.com states that in the U.S., about 50,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke-related diseases. Usually smokers aren’t so beautiful after they have been smoking for a while, so the handsome man will probably become quite ugly in a couple of years. The skin ages quicker, loses elasticity (wrinkles), and goes through discoloration all because of smoking (virtualcancercenter.com). Smoking doesn’t give the smoker a more glamorous life, if anything it takes away from what the person could have, because now they have an addiction that they are spending their extra money on, that they could be spending on something that could actually benefit their life. An article on Forbes.com states that depending on the state and quantity a person smokes in, the average smoker stands to save $300 to $500 per year. The reality of smoking cigarettes is that they have no beneficial effect at all, and the images portrayed in their past, present and maybe even future advertisements are all bullshit. If I was in charge of marketing for cigarette companies I would probably get fired after the company saw my first ad, because I would tell spectators the truth about the product that I was selling.

          In my cigarette commercial there would be the truth, the entire truth, and I think that it would be great. The commercial would begin on a gloomy day, one that is grey and cloudy. There will be no smiles or happiness, which is exactly when cigarette smoker tend to need to smoke. The unpleasant background symbolized the unhappiness that most cigarette smokers feel when they feel the need to “relieve their stress” by smoking. The place will be a bus stop where the man has been standing and becoming quite impatient, so his anxiety is building up. The man is looking at his watch continuously because he’s running late for work. A calm voiced, male narrator will come on and say, “This bus stop is not in the best of neighborhood, but this stop is in the man’s neighborhood. This man has a lot to think about, he has kids to provide for and he is trying to move into a better neighborhood so that he and his family can live a better life.” This is how most real smokers live, not saying that no smokers live a good life, but that’s just what the man in the commercial and majority smokers live.

          The man is not the best looking guy on earth, but he’s clean and employed. He’s wearing a plain white button up shirt and a pair of khaki slacks. The man is just trying to get to work and he is getting more anxious, but then a beautiful woman walks up to the bus stop. The man glances at her and thinks to himself, “Damn she fine!” Narrator, “The anxiety of running late for work and seeing this beautiful woman built up to the breaking point. He has to have a smoke.” So he pulls out his box of flavored cigarettes and lit it with an American flag lighter. After a slow and long puff the man feels the tension leaving his chest. The man glances back at the woman and now she is making a strange face, not of disgust or enjoyment, just strange. The man decides he’s going to speak to the woman, so he turns to her, takes a small puff and blows the cherry flavored smoke in the woman’s direction. The woman begins to look toward the man, and as she is turning her head she gets a face full of smoke. The woman’s face goes completely blank as she stares at the man. After a moment of blank staring the woman says “Your pungent throat smoke is burning my nostrosities (which is a made up word for nostrils)” very emotionlessly, then turns around and storms away. After the woman gets about five feet away she swings her body back around and says “I am not one of those submissive women who go for anything. This is a new day and I won’t stand for that kind of disrespectful treatment toward me or the environment.” Then the screen goes black and white writing appears on the screen stating “It is estimated that secondhand smoke exposure causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700–69,600 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States”.

          Cigarettes are killing about 5.6 million people in the United States each year and by 2020 that number is expected to leap to 10 million (thetruth.com). This smoking issue needs to be addressed and the first step is to stop portraying the false image that the tobacco industry spends millions of dollars on. In my anti-ad I have dissected and completely flipped one of the images that was once associated with smoking. Removing the “bullshit” in question is like blowing away the smoke so the smokers of the word can see the truth. The truth is what will prevent a kid from trying what may become their lifetime addiction and stop a father from exposing his children to secondhand smoke. The truth will save lives.

 

Works Cited

Rough Sketch of Commercial

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