Camel cigarettes are targeting Hipsters

Marketers set campaign objectives like increasing usage, or broadening audience appeal.

And that's exactly what tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds is planning to do with their latest campaign for Camel cigarettes.

RJR is trying to reach Hipsters, with the notion that cigarette smoking is still "cool" within this youth-heavy marketing niche.

Starting in January, they'll be targeting fans of 10 neighborhoods around the country where Hipsters tend to congregate, or aspire to the community's lifestyle. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Haight in San Francisco, Austin and Seattle are just a few of these communities.

The company is turning Camel cigarette packaging into an homage to the Hipster neighborhoods. The packs will bear the neighborhood's name along with iconic images of the neighborhoods.

First up is Brooklyn: "We believe that [Williamsburg] represents a lot of the belief of the Camel brand," R.J. Reynolds spokesman David Howard said. "It helps illustrate the break-free attitude that Camel is about, breaking free to be your own person."

Of course there are critics of a campaign that tries to encourage smoking to this primarily young audience:

"It's cynical for a tobacco company to launch a branding scheme that tries to exploit the life and energy of our streets to market an addictive product that kills roughly a third of its users," Brooklyn Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

The New York Daily News
also found some Hipsters in Williamsburg who were skeptical of the sales pitch.

"That's typical of the cigarette industry. They can't market to kids anymore, so they have to bump up the age group," Bryan Murphy, 28, said.

Jonathon Coward, 30, said he'd pick up a pack as a gag: "I'd probably buy them once to show people how stupid it is," he said.

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