History of Slogan: I'd Walk A Mile
Although several stories have circulated over the years about the origin of this slogan, the version described in Nannie Tilley's book (page 223) is the most widely accepted.
Some golfers ran out of cigarettes while playing and sent a caddy to get some. While he was gone, one of the golfers remarked that, "I'd Walk a mile for a Camel." It just so happened that the man (Martin Francis Reddington) in charge of Camel's outdoor ad account was among the golfers and overheard the remark. He took the idea and used it on posters, a popular ad medium at the time.
The ads were used from 1921 until about 1923. While a series of ads using the slogan appeared, perhaps the most memorable is the one shown below. In addition to the English version, the ad appeared in a variety of other languages because there were such large numbers of immigrants coming to the U.S. al the time.
By 1924 other ad executions that emphasized social gatherings and sporting events began displacing the "mile" ad.
In 1967 the ad theme was revived with a humorous twist as shown below. Variations on this execution ran through 1971.
As the above execution began to fade, the original slogan was used as minor sub copy in subsequent Camel ad campaigns. Also, beginning in 1971 and continuing until 1975, ads used a variation of the slogan such as:
- Would he walk a mile for me?
- Today, a man needs a good reason to walk a mile. Start walking.
Interest in collecting tobacco memorabilia has continued to keep original slogan a popularly recognized phrase.