Everybody knows that cigarettes are inherently evil. They're owned by companies run by evil old men who wear evil cowboy hats and make evil commercials that lure people in with pretty girls and success. We tracked down fourteen old diabolical cigarette commercials and identified each specific instrument that made them evil and ranked them based on — evilness.
Instrument of Evil: Happiness
It’s too much effort to cheat on your wife… so why not just smoke a cigarette given to you by a fictional television couple? That’ll show her.
Instrument of Evil: Love
Imagine a cigarette that's compatible with you and your interests in every way. The color, the flavor, the packaging — heck, you can even smoke it while you're fixin' up your truck. It's the cigarette that knows you better than you know yourself. The perfect match. Your soul mate.
Instrument of Evil: Compromise
If you want a diet soda that still tastes good, you can compromise and drink Coke Zero. If you want to have sex and not be a parent, you compromise and use condoms. If you want a cigarette that tastes like tobacco and menthol, you can smoke a Newport. Without even realizing we had a choice, Newport provided a compromise.
Instrument of Evil: Porn
Every guy wants to give a beautiful woman an earth-shattering orgasm… this commercial just suggests that, if you smoke Players, you can do just that. We think the in-out motion of the cigarette is supposed to symbolize sex… maybe.
Instrument of Evil: Pop Culture
Honestly, I’d eat a garbage bag full of gorilla sh*t if David Lynch told me to.
Instrument of Evil: Victory
“Taste the flavor of success with Champion Kings. The brand for the brand of man you are.” Any cigarette company that tries to establish itself as the Nike or Michael Jordan of smoking is trying to get deep into our heads. Everybody wants to go for the gold... everybody wants to be a champion.
Instrument of Evil: Sex
Can you remember any party where a girl and a guy going out on the roof for a cigarette didn't end up boning each other silly? Nope, neither can we.
Instrument of Evil: Health
We’ll try anything if there’s a healthy label on it. Remember Vitamin Water? Over 40 grams of sugar per bottle, but a name that suggested you were drinking something healthy. Doctors like Camels? Doctors wouldn’t smoke something if it was bad for you. Spoiler alert: even doctors get emphysema.
6. Pall Mall
Instrument of Evil: Choice
We’re Americans — and as Americans, we demand the freedom of choice. Do we want fries with that? Yes. Regular or diet? Diet. Soup or salad? Soup! Flavor or mild? Both! Pall Mall gave us with a cigarette that satisfied our need for cake-owning and cake-eating all at once.
Instrument of Evil: Testosterone
With enough helicopter shots to make Michael Bay weep, combined with the manliest-looking cowboy on the planet overlooking a beautiful landscape, Marlboro suggests that you — YOU — could be this man.
4. Lucky Strike
Instrument of Evil: Success
So, basically smoking Lucky Strike means you’ll have a beautiful home, a loving wife, a hot pot of coffee — and a fresh suit? Sign me up.
Instrument of Evil: Art
Sure, the guy looks a little bit too much like Dr. Steve Brule to be considered hip — but the artistic imagery combined with the (most likely) then-awesome heavy electro beats makes this guy’s exciting journey for a Camel totally appealing. Zebras! Panthers! Waves! Camels.
2. Peter Stuyvesant
Instrument of Evil: Sports
Here are some activities that you cannot do as a chronic cigarette smoker: Ski, swim, dance, jog, laugh heartily.
Here are some activities that people are doing in this commercial: All of the above.
Instrument of Evil: Cartoons
You know who loved the The Flintones
? Kids. There is nothing
more evil than using cartoons to sell cigarettes. Imagine this in the 21st century. You think little boys and girls everywhere would be inclined to buy a pack if they saw Dora and Diego deucing a smoke? Hell yes!
Jeremy Glass is the Supercompressor Vice editor and could sure go for a nice, cool Pall Mall blue right about now.