If there are any vintage ads for men’s products that don’t employ sexism and stereotypes, can you let us know? Because this ad for Van Heusen shirts isn’t any different from the hundreds of other magazine ads that use the same tropes and jokes. It shows a man wearing a bright white shirt, surrounded by a group of women who are all proposing to him.
The meaning of the Leap Year joke isn’t as relevant anymore, so let us explain. “Bachelor’s Day” was a tradition where every Leap Day, the tables were turned, and women could propose to men. Apparently, Van Heusen shirts were so sexy that women couldn’t help themselves but get down on one knee, regardless of the day of the year.
Beer Solves It All
We’ve been talking about women as homemaker ever since. The marketing teams during the time can’t think of any other way to advertise their products than to treat women as inferior. The 1950s was the pinnacle of sexist ads. The man should be the one who finds solutions to everything, the provider, and the disciplinarian. The woman is left in the house to cook. That’s what they always say, women should know how to cook.
In this Schlitz beer ad, they came up with a solution. The woman burns whatever she cooks and cries because she can’t serve for her husband. She is portrayed as a fragile homemaker who bursts into tears because she can’t play her role well. The man, being a problem-solver, says that she doesn’t need to worry because they have beer. A woman can’t burn beer, they say. The thing is, we’ve long been over this kind of dynamics. Anyone can have beer anytime, anywhere. Whether you can cook or not, you can have beer.
Want Some Skinless Wieners?
There’s absolutely no way an ad like this would get approved these days. Can you imagine coming across an ad for skinless sausages on your Instagram feed? If you did, it would probably be an ad for something very, very different. Back in the 60s, it seems that things were much more innocent.
We can all recognize the double entendre going on here. The worst (or best) part of the ad is the bottom right corner which reads, “They won’t shrivel or burst in the pan!” Oh really, now? These skinless wieners are so irresistible even the dad in the corner wants his wife to save some leftovers. Immature? Maybe. Hilarious? Most definitely.
What’s A Guy Got to Do With J&B Whiskey?
They say that a man has got a good taste if he’s got the eye for good whiskey. It shows sophistication and style. It’s also generally known that those who have the money enjoy this luxury. Some people tend to generalize that women admire guys who have the affluence that brings them to this kind of hobby. Before long, the term “sugar daddy” came to life and to square the term, also came “gold diggers.”
J&B Rare Scotch Whiskey released an ad stating that you don’t need to know a man further if he just ordered the said drink. Quite bold of them to claim. Their ad says that a woman will be enamoured to a man who orders their drink. The guy will be a potential sugar-daddy. The woman is then generalized as a gold-digger. Some hasty generalization in a whiskey ad.
No, You Can Trade Kellog’s for Anything
We have old Uncle on the screen again. The world of advertising doesn’t just feed on machismo. They can’t get enough of discriminating people. They even make it so obvious. Kellog’s introduced their new Corn Flakes by hiring the same actor from the Jewish rye bread ad. They seemed to have had a hard time finding the right wardrobe for him. They decided to use the ones he wore in another ad.
Clearly, Kellog want the actor to appear like a Native American. Let’s take a short history class review. In 1920s, Native Americans were granted full citizenship. However, discrimination was still present at the time, especially in the world of advertising. Most of those ads end up being presumptuous and insulting.