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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Friday, January 22, 2010

Nerd Appeal

Interesting celebrity endorsement:

That's actor Wally Cox, a character actor of the '50s/'60s known for playing milquetoasts in sitcoms and variety shows, starting with his 1952 show, "Mr. Peepers." Given the aspirational nature of most adult beverage advertising (then as well as now), it's a bit surprising to see Cox in this ad. After all, his fame notwithstanding, he's not exactly the type of person most liquors would want to associate their products with. Was Lee Marvin busy?

Wally Cox? Why not just get Woody Allen to pitch Smirnoff?

Oh, wait a minute:


Well, Smirnoff, since you've gone this far, you might as well complete the 1950s Nerd Triumvirate and get Tony Randall, too:


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