A smoky, hazy memory

April 26, 2007 at 8:07 am (advertising, wellbeing)

There it was. A pack of smokes resting in the centre of the glossy page of the magazine. It looked beautifully styled (if you can imagine a pack of styled ciggies, that is).
It looked odd and out of place. It jarred the senses and was immediately noticeable; not because of the luscious pink and blank background but because it just looked out of place in a woman’s magazine.
But before the ailing Manto gets wind of this, let me explain. I was reading an international mag (one of the perks of my job) and there it was: a pack of Camels. Light and luscious, read the tagline.
I thought about my instantaneous reaction to it (I usually ignore ads completely) and wondered why I’d even registered the ad. Then realised it’s because it seemed so unusual.
See, I am young enough to not have been exposed to many of them but old enough to remember the ads of the Marlboro Man and Co. It just seems weird to see cigarette advertising now so I guess old Manto got her way – no more corrupting the youth with this sexy stuff.
Do you remember the times when people could smoke in malls, taxis, busses, offices, etc? I wasn’t even smoking by the time the bans were put in place but remember my mom being very PO’d when she couldn’t get her fix while doing her weekly grocery shopping. When she got that look my sister and I would split – you do not want to get in the way of a nicotine-starved mom with a trolley on a Friday night…
Anyway, even though I’m smoker, I think it was the best thing she of the beetroot/garlic wisdom could’ve done. I’m all for taking charge of your body and messing it up if you want but I do feel bad when I see non-smokers battling against the white curls when they’re exposed.
What I’m trying to figure out now, though, is why I still see nine-year-old kids bumming a cigarette (Wat? Is jy befok? Dra jy nie nog ’n nappy nie?!) and trying to look grown-up. A fat lot of good banning the ads did for them.
Maybe our Minister of Madness should insist all smokes be infused with garlic and lemon from this day on…


  1. MrsM said,

    Ja hey, the smoke ad SOUNDS weird and out of place. I was paging through Fairlady mags from the 80’s and 90’s and they were all there, Craven A and the lot. En nou niks. It’s a good thing, I agree, but I think (even the infantile nine-year olds) will choose whether they want to smoke or not. I was thinking about the minister of health the other day. I’m not too clued up on political studies and all, but I just thought about the fact that Nkosazana was the minister before her and now she’s doing foreign affairs. I mean, does that mean that I can be a doctor if I know the right people? Sounds a little far-fetched, but I was just wondering about that. Ja, and don’t tell me about mom in the store and splitting. Mine had nothing to do with a lack of cigs.More likely, in her opinion, BAD customer service. We’d cringe until we figured we could split when it happened. Sigh

  2. tbhanks said,

    Now there’s something else to write about: moms in shopping malls and all the things they’ve done that makes you cringe. Or wanna split. Or wanna split while cringing. I could do all.

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