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Masters of Desire

Categories: ColorDesire

Masters of Desire: The culture of American Advertising

Escape into another realm, to foreign place of freedom and relaxation. Feel the freshness of air and be awoken by a gentle kiss of a mistress. Surely everyone of us want to experience this kind of illusion, however advertisements put forth by advertisers fill our heads with these images to make us want these products which in fact satisfy our needs and desires. Jack Solomon in “Masters of Desire: The culture of American Advertising”, said that “American’s consumer runs of desire, constant desire for social success and rewards, so in fact companies manufacture status symbols because American consumers want them,” (Solomon).

Camel Corporation is trying to do just that, by increasing its sales and brand loyalty by targeting young male generations and introducing the idea cool with their newest menthol flavor cigarette. When someone refers to “Camel” cigarettes first thing that comes to mind is its consistent logo “the Camel. ” Camel logos are simply symbols that represent the product, and symbol of American culture.

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Symbols as Solomon says “are signs that identify their possessors place in a social hierarchy, markets of rant and prestige,” (Solomon pg-33).

I clearly agree with Solomon, I think that ads of symbolic nature like “Camel” associate between the product and what it brings to the consumer that it’s addressing. As consumers, we usually tend to see a complementary massage that comes together with the logo. This message becomes an imprint in our mind and we tend to associate this message with the product.

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“Pleasure to burn,” is the consistent message that in my mind is associated with “Camel” cigarettes. The clear connection to the need for pleasure that we discussed in class is stated in this message, and is geared toward consumer wants and desires.

Our human nature drives us to fulfill our needs and desires before anyone else’s to fill complete and happy. Besides “Camel” itself, what made me stop and look at this ad was its attractive colors. Gold and Green color are displayed in this ad, as well as a strong orange color displaying the camel. The colors and the background imagery of palm trees and the seductive women perhaps symbolize a foreign setting getaway (to take time off) to stand and truly fill the “pleasure to burn,” sensation. I found this particular ad in the “Maxim” magazine, which targets younger male readers.

Advertisers have to make sure that the product they offer is targeting the right consumers groups. It would be silly to advertise a new body kit for a car in a women’s based magazine since the car body kits usually attracts male consumers. On the other hand it is very common to see images of women for example in men’s magazines advertising products that appeal to men, same with men in women’s magazines advertising women products. This is surely done because this drives our desires that such a way. We are simply attracted to the opposite sex, that why it’s common to see women images portrayed to attract male audience.

American sexual fantasies

Young seductive women are portrayed in this “Camel” ad to attract certain male consumers. Solomon says just that “sexual explicitness of contemporary advertising is a sign not so much of American sexual fantasies as of the lengths to which advertisers will go to get attention, sex images never fail as an attention getters,” (Solomon). Advertisers use sex images to present products then its obvious that sex images increase the products ability to sell. Her sexy figure and the short green dress with a basket full of “Camel” cigarettes surely attract male consumers to symbolize this idea of fulfillment of desires and sexuality.

With the use of green colors in this “Camel” advertisers are introducing their new kind of cigarette menthol flavor. It is evident that menthol is associated with the color green, however it is also associated with feeling cool. Perhaps this is one symbolic meaning advertisers are trying to convey to male consumers and this new cigarette will give you this freshness and the coolness that you desire. Solomon makes a point that I agree with, “objects and products itself really don’t matter, since it ultimately disappears behind the presume social potency of its owner.

Semiotically, what matters is the signal it sends its value as a sign of power. ” This idea of feeling cool can be translated as feeling fresh, and simply what Solomon says to look further then the cigarettes and to look at the individual himself. In high school for example to fit in and be cool students would often smoke. This might be the idea Camel Corporation is sending to the consumers. If you want to be cool and fill cool simply smoke “Camel” cigarettes and you will have your wants come true.

To promote sales and brand loyalty Camel Corporation targeted young males with the sexy figure of seductive women, and promoting the coolness with the newest menthol cigarettes. This is clearly what consumers want and will see because this kind of socialistic behavior satisfies our desire and our want in our society. At the end it is clearly obvious that objects itself don’t really matter, since ultimately they disappear behind the owner, and the value as a sign becomes very evident as a power symbol. As advertisements continue to appear American life will reflect the culture witch has it self-chosen illusionary concepts over the reality.

Cite this page

Masters of Desire. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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