Underselling the product

It's easy to snicker at advertising from the 1950s. Riding the post-war wave of optimism and consumerism, it seems like every ad featured ecstatic homeowners and/or grandiose promises well out of proportion to what was being sold.  And at first glance, the 1953 ad above seems like just another example.  But read the headline again -- It Will Add To Your Happiness!  Cadillac isn't promising to change your life, just to add to whatever happiness you already have.  That little understatement may not seem so revolutionary, but consider the kind of car commercials we see today, forever promising to make you something you're not -- more attractive, more outgoing, more successful.  Happiness may be the end result, but all too often, today's ads seem to assume that you're starting with nothing.


Anonymous said…
So this is what you did today?


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