R.J. Reynolds will break in June magazines a new Camel campaign from Mezzina/Brown featuring racy imagery from photographer David LaChapelle and a new tagline, "Mighty tasty."
Sources said the campaign was created with the assistance of Gyro in Philadelphia, which launched RJR's Red Kamel brand in 1997 and continues to be Red Kamel's lead agency.
Lead Camel brand shop Mezzina/Brown and Carole Crosslin, an RJR representative, declined comment. Gyro chief executive Steven Grasse denied his agency was involved in the new campaign, although he did confirm that Gyro consults on brands other than Red Kamel.
The new print and outdoor work features the bright, saturated colors often found in LaChapelle's work and delves into themes of forbidden pleasure. In one ad, a disheveled young man is pictured running from a house, as a stereotypical farmer chases him with a shotgun. A woman with a satisfied look is seen through an open window smoking a cigarette.
Another shows an Adam-and-Eve scenario, apple, snake and Lucifer included. But instead of the Garden of Eden, the couple sits on a nightclub couch, Lucifer wears a red suit, the snake is in a jar on the table and the sequined apple has a Camel logo imprinted on it.
Accompanying each photograph is a "viewer discretion advised" warning box listing, for example, casual smoking, farm violence and animal nudity, and the "Mighty tasty" tagline.
As with previous work, each ad contains a hidden Camel logo. The approach began last year after Joe Camel was retired. Previous ads featured seductive women drinking in nightclubs, with a camel-shaped water stain on a table, for instance.
Camel ranks sixth in cigarette sales behind Marlboro, Newport, Doral, GPC and Winston. RJR spent about $60 million advertising the various Camel brands, but only $2 million on Red Kamel, in 1997, per Competitive Media Reporting.