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March 16, 2023

Amazing Omar Cigarette Ads in the Early 20th Century

In the early 1900s, manufactures of Turkish and Egyptian cigarettes tripled their sales and became legitimate competitors to leading brands.

In 1911, The American Tobacco Company introduced Omar, a premium Turkish blend cigarette, in order to compete with other leading Turkish brands like Murad. The cigarette was named after the medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyám, who experienced a resurgence of popularity from 1900-1930 during an “Omariana” fad.

Ads for Omar cigarettes referenced Khayyám’s famous poem, The Rubáiyát , and focused on themes of pleasure, leisure, and luxury. Early Omar cigarette ads featured an older, rotund sultan figure, who appears to indulge in a range of life’s pleasures, and a beautiful maiden, referred to as Angel Shape. In some ways, the ads border on stereotypical parodies of Eastern life and culture, yet they speak to the luxurious aspect of Omar cigarettes all the same.

Later ads for Omar revealed that “Omar spells Aroma” when Omar is repeated twice: omAR OMAr. This pun speaks to the American Tobacco Company’s desire to extend the relevancy of Omar cigarettes beyond Omariana as the fad slowly died out. Clearly, tobacco companies and their advertising agents are able to create extreme elasticity with their products in order to attract consumers.

Here below is a set of vintage photos that show amazing ads for Omar cigarettes in the early 20th century.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing such a nice blog with useful information. I hope you will share some more info.




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