Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Camel Joe and the Hard Pack

Those of you who read this are probably old enough to remember Camel Joe Controversy. Apparently, the powers that be, known to many as the Nanny State, felt that cartoonish images of camels smoking cigarettes contributed to underage usage of tobacco. Although I missed underage smoking by a year, I can attest that to me and my peers, there was nothing cool about Joe Camel. Except for the fact that he smoked, and we all know that makes everyone looks like a bad ass.

Anyone who did think the image of Joe Camel was, cool probably feasted on paint chips in quantity as a child. These would be the same kids who owned the Joe Camel t-shirts and would be referred to my peers as a "spazz". It's pretty sad when someone such as myself, who as a geek was low on the High School social scale, could actually look down upon somebody as a lesser. These are the same type of people who partake in such glorious activities as backyard wresting and are frequently found as winners of the Darwin Award. Unfortunately, this is a large portion of the current US population. But I digress.....

I've posted this image of the "Hard Pack" to show you how not cool Camel Joe, or his friends, are. This image was from the early 90's. I was a teen during this time, and I can attest, there is nothing cool about dressing like the Blues Brothers in 1991. If the marketing team at Camel were really trying to cater to a teenage market, don't you think Joe would have a hi-top fade and a pair of Cross Colours? Or maybe long greasy hair and a flannel? I'm sorry, but teenagers don't give two shits about the Blues Brothers. I didn't, and nobody I knew did. Adam Sandler, sure, but nothing as thoughtful as the Blues Brothers.

I far as the "Hard Pack" is concerned, I'm sorry, but there is nothing "Hard" about a dude with a saxophone. In fact, saxophone is probably the anti-hard. Take for example, Huey Lewis and the News.... you know what I'm saying. If they really wanted to make the "Pack" hard, maybe they should have been given glocks and jheri curls. That, my friend, would have been the meaning of hard, and probably would have been directed at a teenage audience.

So was Camel Joe a marketing gimmick aimed towards underage smokers? I think not, but if it was, that marketing team knew nothing about what kids liked or didn't like in 1991.

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