Camel Launches Williamsburg-Brand Cigarettes

Marketing campaign says customers will earn "serious street cred"

Friday, Nov 12, 2010  |  Updated 11:15 AM EDT
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Camel Launches Williamsburg-Brand Cigarettes

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Cigarettes are hip – or at least that's what the folks over at RJ Reynolds who just designed a box of Camel smokes specifically for Williamsburgers want you to think.

As part of its 10-week "Camel Break Free" campaign, the company redesigned its Camel Blue (nee Camel Lights) packaging to mirror the skylines of 10 "cool" places across the nation, including Austin, Texas, Seattle, and, naturally, the hipster's mecca Williamsburg.

While Camel's website refers to Williamsburg as "the most famous hipster neighborhood," it stops short of outright calling smoking the cool thing to do. "It's not about hip, it's about breaking free," RJ Reynolds explains on the site.

The promotional material says, "It’s about last call, a sloppy kiss goodbye and a solo saunter to a rock show in an abandoned building … It’s where a tree grows."

Now that last one's original.

And if you're looking to boost your rep around the neighborhood, Camel urges you to try one of its Williamsburg smokes and assures you you'll earn "serious street cred."

The campaign asks customers to buy the cigarettes and sign up for prizes on the website, which at least one blogger says Williamsburgers are much too cool to do.

"The campaign might do alright with the 17-year-old poseur set in Toledo, but Brooklynites will not be interested," Andrea Bartz, co-author of "Stuff Hipsters Hate," told the Brooklyn Paper. "After all they roll their own, or bum Parliament Lights off whomever’s outside the bar." 

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