Monday, January 25, 2010

The artist approves...

Panty hose may be sold to women, but they're really made for men -- or so this 1951 ad campaign seems to be admitting:


"Cannon nylons do something for my legs" gushes the headline -- but despite the first-person voice, the real testimonial comes from the artist who illustrated those shapely gams:



I can't decipher the artist's signature (or recognize his photo), but based on other ads in the series, I'm pretty sure he was one of the popular "pin-up girl" illustrators of the era. And as such, a pop-cultural authority, I guess, on how a well-turned leg should appear.

An interesting idea, and well executed. Despite adapting an art form that was created pretty much exclusively for men, the artist's style -- here, equal parts sensual and "girl next door" -- seems non-threatening to women while showing them an idealized version of the appearance they want.

Other ads in the series feature more easily identifiable pin-up artists, including Frederick J. Smith...


...Robert Patterson...


..and Jon Whitcombe.


If the idea of letting notable artists interpret your product seems more contemporary than this, that may be because this liquor-maker employed a similar campaign through the '80s and '90s:

(Cameron, by the way, is fashion designer David Cameron; the model is Rachel Williams.)

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