Video Digest: November 9, 2007

Marketers love embedding hidden messages. A survey of cigarette ads who encouraged us to be lazy, sound terrible, and have ethics as actresses.

Looking back on advertising, it is easier to unearth the hidden messages marketers embed in otherwise clear and plain copywriting. For example, look at what they are really saying in these old cigarette ads.

You too can be Queen Elizabeth on the couch, a cuban plantation owner, a lazy furniture mover, or two people rocking themselves to a slow, cancerous death.

This woman is not a woman. She may look like one, a beautiful one, long and cool, but in fact, she is a cigarette. You want to smoke her, admit it.

The man thinks, this man here will share his cigarettes with me. His wife seems to find me attractive. I hope my wife doesn't come down the stairs and find us. Oops!

This man thinks, darn, I missed the bus. Hey, that billboard's talking to me. Look, that guy's going to sleep with the singing lady. Go get her, guy. Oh, he's just having a smoke. Wait, that look he is giving me... maybe he is going to screw her, after all. Lucky.

Girls, prepare yourselves for a life of enslavement. Boys, you know what to do.

French people get the Eiffel Tower. We get cigarettes.

Weirdoes are actually the conformists, seeing how they conform to…weirdness. But not the Camel man.

If an opera singer can smoke, so can you.

If an actress with ethics can smoke, so can you.

If I smoke, I too can look young and attractive, and sound like Estelle Getty.


Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. His latest book is Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. More information can be found at More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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