When Mad Men Ruined Your Health

UPDATE: Whoops! No sooner did I hit the publish button did I discover that the Coal Cares campaign is an elaborate parody. But it seems real if you know the history of various industry campaigns, which is what the rest of my post is about.

Lots of people are shaking their heads over this Coal Cares campaign. You have to wonder which marketing genius dreamed it up, and what Peabody was thinking when they bought it.

What’s next? Marlboro rolling out an ad campaign called, Tobacco Cares, with cartoons making oxygen tanks sexy for people who have emphysema?

Still, there’s something retro about this new Coal Cares gimmick that recall some industry classics from the Mad Men era (and some that predate it).

Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

When it was fun to be sprayed with DDT:

When Big Tobacco wooed the playground set.

And in case little junior wanted to enjoy a brewski with his ciggy:

But if the Flintstone crowd didn’t catch on, a few years later this commercial might have gone over like a nice, cool breeze:

And if you managed to make it this far without getting hooked, surely the good doctor would convince you.

The good old days. When product poison could be sold with a straight face.

5 Responses to “When Mad Men Ruined Your Health”

  1. Keith Grubb says:

    Seriously…you thought the campaign was real? I know plenty of Doctors that smoke by the way, more that smoke weed, but whatever.

  2. Keith Kloor says:

    My internal BS meter was going off as I was reading through some of the material. I was saying to myself, this can’t be real. But as indicated by my post, I’m aware of some of the ancient advertising history related to lead paint, ddt, tobacco, etc.

    Also, a while back I did a big feature story on garbage and a foul-smelling mega-landfill run in Pennsylvania by Waste Management. In my story, I talk about how the landfill has annual bbq’s up there to try and win over the community, and during these events, they give out goody bags to the kids that have similar cartoonish stuff about landfills. I was blown away by it. That immediately came to mind as I was reading the coal cares website.

  3. It is funny, isn’t it? The reaction is “this is outrageous” but at the same time “there is nothing that these people won’t do”. I still think the second part is true, even though part one turns out to be misplaced.

  4. Barry Woods says:

    4#  – Amazing said without a ‘hint’ of irony…. 😉

    but at the same time “there is nothing that these people won’t do“. I still think the second part is true, even though part one turns out to be misplaced.

  5. John Mashey says:

    I haven’t found a commercial for these yet, but jsut a few years ago, there were candy-flavored tobacco cigarettes with names like Camel’s Twista Lime, Kauai Kolada, Margarita Mixer, Warm Winter Toffee, and Winter Mocha Mint.
    Here’s an ad from 2004:
    “President and COO of R.J. Reynolds Lynn J. Beasley responded with a written statement worthy of Thank You For Smoking. “We recognize that the past use of certain names on a limited number of our brand styles resulted in unintended perceptions and concerns.””
    See Tobacco Archives, ~1984, on The Importance of Younger Adults (18-24), but actually the show is givine away by:
    “Less than one-third of smokers (31%) start after age 18 .”
    They were forced to remove products sold under such names … but menthol is still OK.

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