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Cigarettes, Inc.An Intimate History of Corporate Imperialism$
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Nan Enstad

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226533285

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226533452.001.0001

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Of Camels and Ruby Queens

Of Camels and Ruby Queens

(p.154) 5 Of Camels and Ruby Queens
Cigarettes, Inc.

Nan Enstad

University of Chicago Press

This chapter tracks the boom of big cigarette brands in the 1910s in both China (Ruby Queen) and the US (Camel), a development that at least partially sparked the interwar spike in cigarette consumption. Previously, the industry assumed that companies had to release many brands for the varying tastes of a diverse market. The largely accidental and unrelated introduction of competition into monopoly situations in both countries caused a new concentration of marketing and distribution resources into a single brand, causing the rise of big brands and revolutionizing branding and marketing strategies globally. The chapter explores how big brands made possible new, more intense processes and affects of brand affiliation and belonging. It concludes with oppositional uses of the brand in the anti-imperial May 30th Movement in 1925 China and among African American baseball players in the interwar US South.

Keywords:   brand, Camel, Lucky Strike, marketing, China, British American Tobacco Company, R.J. Reynolds, baseball, May 30th Movement, Ruby Queen

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