Friday, April 23, 2010

Joe Chemo Ad

In 1996, an issue of Adbuster's started a series of "Joe Chemo" advertisements mocking Camel cigarettes "Joe Camel" advertisements. The advertisements were showing that smoking kills. The issue received a lot of coverage from places like Time magazine and NBC television news (which are mainstream).(Is it still a divergent voice?)
I think the message for "Joe Chemo" advertisements series was strong. I know personally if I was a smoker and I saw that I would laugh. However, for non-smokers who have relatives or friends (or both) who smoke it may have an impact on them. I think those advertisements or subvertisements if you will have a great underlying message. Yeah it is funny, but there are plenty of people out there who have an addiction to smoking. It is good to see people show them what would happen. I feel that this is a perfect example of culture jamming because it is a humorous recreation of a popular image in society that has a underlying message. It is a recreation of the "Joe Camel" advertisements with an obvious message saying "Joe Camel" smoke too much and now he is "Joe Chemo" but, the hidden message is smoking kills and this is what will happen to all of you people who do smoke.

A fun fact I found when researching is "On July 10, 1997, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company announced that its 23-year-old Joe Camel advertising campaign would be discontinued." - Elliott, S. (July 11, 1997). Joe Camel, a giant in tobacco marketing, is dead at 23. New York Times, pp. D1, D4.
I guess the subvertisement of Joe Chemo made an impact?
What do you think?


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