Cigarette commercials of the 70s seem to be cursed: As happens with the Marlboro Country campaign, Brokeback Mountain comes into mind when one looks at the two young gentleman advertising Salem Menthol. The theme is repeating itself, but this time much more subtle: Two young men, good looking (hairstyle), active (canoe), natural (cigarettes?) and possibly very lonely. However, in the PBM-age (Post Brokeback Mountain) maybe one should be careful to interpret it this way. Perhaps the two guys (Tom Selleck would fit in very well, unfortunately he doesn’t smoke cigarettes see update below) just want to enjoy nature. And smoke. Their backpack should be large enough to carry about 20 cartons of Salem Menthol. Enough to get your lungs going for one weekend. Canoeing is so much more fun, when the windpipe blows in tune. Immensely refreshing.
Salem is owned by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR). It was once one of the most successful cigarette brands in America. The name Salem refers to the hometown of RJR: Winston-Salem in North Carolina, where the company’s headquarters are located. Readers of Christopher Buckleys novel “Thank you for Smoking” (very recommendable: the book, not the movie) will remember Winston-Salem as the heartland of Tobacco.
The boys from Bellybuzz are great. Though we have sugested, Tom Selleck would fit nicely in the group of our Salem Menthol guys, we didn’t dream that he actually was one of the Salem-ad-figures. Check it out: Tom Selleck smoking.