Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going for the juggler

Think all the fretting over TV shows pushing the envelope in sex and violence is a modern concern? Here's an ad from 1961:

"We own Sylvania TV.
We're worried about some of
the shows you see on our sets."

begins the ad, under a depiction of programming types of the era that Sylvania apparently finds objectionable, violent westerns and cop and detective shows prominently featured, along with other programs waiting to implant violent and impure thoughts into the minds of the American viewing public, like medical shows, historical dramas and beauty pageants.

And of course, shows that feature jugglers:


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More real people, unscrubbed

Back in my first post in January 2008, I showed this ad, as an example of the recognition (and celebration) of "real people" that's been absent in modern advertising (except as a source of humor, over-romanticism and post-modern irony). Here's another ad I recently discovered from that same campaign:



Contrast that with this spot two decades later. Similar laundromat setting, a similar depiction of an overweight laundromat lady (around :46) -- but here, she -- and the others -- are just used as visual shorthand for the prim, traditional sensibilities our counter-cultural jeans-washer offends:



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Thursday, October 8, 2009

A darn good question

This headline from this 1969 ad is surprisingly effective in stopping the reader, even after all these years.

Usually, when advertising poses a question, the answer is obvious. Not this one:


An intriguing question, with no clear answer. When you're talking cranium protection for pro football players, we know the stakes are high. And likening the construction of football helmet to a that of a hair dryer is a dramatic comparison.

But what answer are they hinting at? There are two possibilities:
1) That competitive helmets are made of a plastic material more suitable for hair dryers and that the one being advertised here is much stronger; or

2) That the helmet being sold here is amazingly impact-resistant, given that it's made from the same material as women's hair dryers.
Here's the entire ad:


Even if your eye jumps down to the "Deacon does." subhead, I'll bet most readers took a few seconds to scan the copy for details like these:
...all the NFL teams trust the same material...CYCOLAC Brand ABS, a tough, hard rigid thermoplastic...the same plastic specified by major appliance manufacturers...it can take the brutal punishment of head butts, cleat kicks and earth slams...
...and that's just at the beauty parlor! (RIMSHOT!)

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