Joe Chemo – Anti-Smoking Campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 45. 3 million people in the United States to be cigarette smokers. Such an astounding number is certainly an accomplishment for cigarette companies and their investors. But after learning cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U. S. ; the number only seems grotesque and disheartening. However, in recent years, there has been a national push for anti-smoking campaigns.

More specifically, anti-smoking advocates have made a tremendous effort to raise awareness in children and adolescents in an attempt to decrease the nation’s startling smoking statistics for the near future.

A tactful attempt to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking cigarettes has come from the use of satirical advertisements. An example of such an advertisement was found on the website adbusters. org. The image invokes a reaction from viewers while discrediting the Camel brand with the use of the same rhetorical strategies used to initially capture a massive market for Marlboro cigarettes in an original advertisement.

The spoof advertisement is able to discredit such a renowned company by carrying the bulk of its argument in the use of logos opposed to relying solely on an emotional appeal.

Joe Chemo spoof advertisement

The spoof ad found on the “adbusters” website (Figure 1) was illustrated by Ron Turner in 1996. The image is of Marlboro’s recognizable Joe Camel lying in a hospital bed with an intravenous drip attached to his arm. Joe Camel’s smile is absent, his skin is pale, his hair gray, and his eyes, that stare longingly at the sunglasses in his hands, are dark and fatigue ridden.

The colors used by Turner are pale, grayish selections of green, blue and white. The monotonous colors allow the viewer’s eyes to easily be drawn to the words “Joe Chemo,” written in Marlboro’s traditional fonts and displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the illustration. In the bottom right hand corner, a white box has black text that reads, “The surgeon general warns that smoking is a frequent cause of wasted potential and fatal regret. ”

Joe Camel in original Marlboro advertisement

A typical Marlboro advertisement that “Joe Chemo” aims to mock might be like the one seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2 is an illustration of Joe Camel in a jazz club. His posture oozes cool and confident as he leans back in his seat. A saxophone sits upright in his lap under his right hand while his left hand, holding a lit cigarette, rests on top. The bright skinned Joe Camel wears a wide grin, dark wayfarer sunglasses, and a bright blue suit with a flashy green shirt underneath. Above his head, in the upper left-hand corner, a neon sign is hung from a vivid purple wall. The sign is of the outline of a camel silhouette and reads “Camel, genuine taste. In the opposite corner, the surgeon general’s warning is displayed in a white box and states, “quitting smoking now greatly reduces risks to your health. ” When comparing the spoof advertisement and the legitimate Marlboro advertisement side by side, their stark differences are numerous. One can easily decode Turner’s intended irony by analyzing both illustrators’ attention to visual rhetoric. The illustrator of the real Marlboro ad uses the rhetorical appeal, pathos, to create a mood of coolness and relaxation.

He is able to accomplish this attitude with many elements of his image. The most obvious element is Joe Camel himself, as he is the center point of the advertisement. Everything about him captures the idea of cool and relaxed. His posture, leaned back with his legs crossed, makes Joe look confident and comfortable. He wears a sly smile and dark, stylish sunglasses that lend to his cool attitude. Coupled with the boldness of his colored suit, Joe Camel becomes a poster-child for self-confidence and style by bringing a certain wanted attention to the character.

Another element of pathos used by the illustrator of the Marlboro ad is the neon sign hanging on the wall. Visually, it is bright and gets your attention, but the catch is the use of the word genuine. Genuine is defined as truly being what something is said to be. The careful word choice creates an intimate connection with the viewer and leads them to feel that the Camel brand is trustworthy. This sense of trust is a fantastic accomplishment for an advertiser because it is not only applicable to the rhetorical appeal of pathos but ethos and logos s well. Being that ethos works by creating credibility of a brand or character, the subconscious trust created by the word genuine now accredits the Camel brand and leaves the viewer in a vulnerable position for persuasion. In the case of cigarette advertisements, this persuasion is most often for the worse. Now that the brand is trusted, Joe Camel becomes a trusted character as well. And under the viewer’s vulnerable state, they will most likely trust Joe’s actions too.

This is the point in the advertisement’s argument when logos comes into play and the viewer submits to the advertiser’s goal. The rhetorical appeal logos uses logic and reason to make an argument. To the trusting and vulnerable viewer, it would only seem logical to do as Joe Camel does. Since Joe Camel is smoking a Marlboro cigarette, the viewer should smoke Marlboro cigarettes too. And the cigarette-smoking Joe Camel is cool, relaxed, and confident. Therefor, the cigarette-smoking viewer will be cool, relaxed and confident too; all they have to do is smoke Camel brand cigarettes.

Even though this type of reasoning is brought about by logical fallacy, the advertisement has still accomplished its goal to convince people to buy and smoke Marlboro’s brand of cigarettes. Despite the surgeon general’s warning of health risks, the images associated good vibes and lofty mood allow pathos to drive the image’s argument and override any true logic that may arise. The artist behind Marlboro’s advertisement cleverly applies the rhetorical appeals of pathos, logos, and ethos to make his argument clear in a single glance of his illustration.

His attention to minute detail poses a challenge for Ron Turner when creating an image aiming to discredit such a thoughtful work. As crafty as the Marlboro ad may be, Turner’s spoof exploits the success of the original piece and constructs an argument contesting that of the cool and confident Joe Camel. Just like the original Camel brand advertisement, the capturing argument of Ron Turner’s “Joe Chemo” is revealed by the significant use of pathos. One of the most apparent observations about the spoof ad is its setting being in a hospital, which is confirmed by the I.

V. attached to the camel’s left arm. Before even studying the entire image, the reader is struck by emotions of sadness and pity. The chosen setting for the illustration is clever because hospitals and doctor’s offices are rarely associated with positive experiences. Following the line of the intravenous drip, the viewer’s attention is shifted to the grave face of the being laying in the hospital bed. Though this being is easily recognized as Joe Camel of Marlboro cigarette ads, he is not the same Joe Camel that people are used to seeing.

Because he is a recognizable character in a strikingly different mood, the appeal of pathos is strengthened by the shocking unfamiliarity of his sickly features and demeanor. After the viewer makes this connection of recognizance to Joe Camel, the emotions of sadness and pity brought about by the mere setting of a hospital are now translated to a more real and relatable figure. Joe Camel’s face reads distressed and remorseful as he looks down at the wayfarer sunglasses in his hands.

This particular element of the image couples the rhetorical appeals of pathos and ethos. Joe Camel’s attitude and confidence were capitalized by how cool he looked wearing his dark, stylish sunglasses in original Marlboro ads. But without them he has become exposed and the truth is not favorable. The exposure of such a recognizable character strengthens the effect of pathos in the image to an even greater height and the initially sad and pitying viewer may now be struck with feelings of guilt and betrayal.

These newly onset emotions may surface at the realization of submitting to logical fallacies posed by Marlboro advertisements like that of Joe Camel in the jazz club. Though the use of pale, washed out tones of green, blue, and white as dominating colors of the image work to maintain the dreary mood, the monotony in color allows the viewer’s attention to be easily drawn to the word’s “Joe Chemo” in the upper right-hand corner. These words are the only part of the image that is bold and bright.

Its brightness is almost startling in all of the grayness, and its message even more so, being that Marlboro’s traditional font, typically reading Joe Camel, has now been replaced by the thought of a terrifying reality. The exchange of the word “chemo” for “camel” in Joe’s name heightens the awareness of smoking being a cancer causing lifestyle choice. Hopefully, this element of Turner’s illustration causes the rhetorical appeal of logos to reach the image’s viewers. Being that cancer is such a publicized and prevalent disease, the majorities of people know of its nature and therefor fear it.

In recent years, a copious amount of knowledge of cancer causing lifestyles has been shared with the public. It has since then become en vogue to dramatically alter one’s lifestyle in hopes of decreasing their risk of cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, it seems people would opt for veganism or a daily handful of supplements before ever voluntarily giving up an addiction to cigarettes. On the contrary, artists like Ron Turner who choose the approach of satire and humor to convey an argument may have a more lasting impact than the listing of statistics or momentary fads.

The fear associated with the image’s jab at cancer caused by smoking cigarettes translates to fear for one’s own health if one shares the same smoker lifestyle as the original Joe Camel. Noting that the only argument made by Joe Camel in his original and healthy state was to smoke cigarettes, the viewer can deductively reason that this habit is what landed him the role of spokesperson for Turner’s argument. In order to avoid the same cancer ridden destination as Joe, viewers are able to conclude that they must quit smoking.

A warning to smokers via an illustration allows the viewers to envision themselves in Joe Chemo’s position and the artist’s argument becomes a more tangible reality. The fear associated with this reality forces the viewer to reconsider their current lifestyle logically. Only after logical consideration has Ron Turner’s argument fully expressed it’s anti-smoking message. Turner’s approach is successful because he first captures an audience by appealing to emotions that arouse logic. This aroused logic in turn solidifies his anti-smoking argument.

Without the appeal of logos catalyzed by ethos and pathos, the argument would be incomplete and only carry a message of pity and sadness for smokers rather than projecting fear and reconsideration onto smokers themselves. The analysis of how Marlboro’s advertisement creators use rhetorical appeals to accredit their brand and convince people to purchase their products is impressive. Their creativity and specified detail in such a simple image reveals just how powerful visual rhetoric can be when crafting an argument.

But rhetoric’s strength of influence is exposed even more so in Ron Turner’s “Joe Chemo. ” Legitimate Marlboro advertisements require the actual product to be present as a center point of the image in order to make their argument clear. Including a product in an advertisement in a way that sheds a positive light on something as negative as cigarettes may have been a challenging task for Marlboro’s advertisers. Overcoming this challenge may be a moneymaking accomplishment for a company but even greater spiteful feet for spoof creators.

Consequently, for spoof artists like Ron Turner, there is no longer a need for cigarettes or the words Marlboro or Camel to be in the image. Using a brand’s spokesperson allows the image to speak for itself. Therefor, the trust gained by Marlboro’s advertisements using Joe Camel is now playing against the company in images such as “Joe Chemo. ” Despite having opposing arguments, both Marlboro and Ron Turner were able to clearly convey their message with the use of the same rhetorical strategies.

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