Looking back on these vintage ads, it’s pretty easy to see exactly who they were advertising to and what they wanted customers to buy. The 1950s marked the beginning of highly visible ads and marketing as we know it today. It was a “Wild West” decade, where pretty much any tactic was acceptable for selling products.
This 1951 ad ran in “Country Life” magazine, which is pretty obvious based on the drawing of the happy housewife peacefully trimming flowers. What does this lady have to do with a G.E.C.-brand radio and television? Nothing, but she looks nice. Vintage ads might look clunky to our content-saturated eyes, but they must have done the trick back then.
Desert Flower Beauty Ice
Makeup and skincare ads haven’t changed that much over the decades if we really think about it. While the products change, the sentiment stays the same: buy our products to look and feel beautiful. This 1958 ad for Shulton’s Desert Flower Beauty Ice shows off its new product as a feat of modern science.
Sulton’s Desert Flower was marketed as a super-modern, cutting-edge cosmetic line that used a fancy new commercial material called “plastic” for its packaging. The beakers full of mysterious jelly were also supposed to make the product seem more modern. We have no idea what was in this stuff, but the sludge in the container looks more like aloe vera than a brand-new mystery cream.
Everyone’s Refrigerator Dreams are About to Come True
Aspirational advertising has always been around in some form or another. Honestly, we don’t really have anything critiques about this gorgeous ad for a top-of-the-line 1950s refrigerator. In fact, we’re kind of jealous of that little girl who’s getting away with eating dessert before dinner. They sure don’t make fridges like this anymore!
We don’t know about you, but we’re falling for the advertising tricks in this vintage magazine ad. All of the scrumptious foods and drinks stuffed into that fridge almost make us believe that this, too, can be our reality if only we buy this specific product. Ignore the fact that a fully cooked turkey AND two frozen hams are physically impossible to fit in any kind of refrigerator.
Rest Assured Furniture’s Not-Quite-Assuring Ad
When you come home after a hard day’s work, you’ll surely jump straight to your living room couch (if not directly to your bed). The cushion makes you feel at home, really comfortable. The cover fabric feels so soft. The hand frames are not too high; they can be your pillow. You might even spend your good night's sleep in it. Certainly beats a night in a suite, right?
So, in the 60s, advertisers played a different game when they sell their suites. Take for example this Rest Assure furniture ad. They are referring to the perfect curves of their new couch model. Do you see it? Obviously, they mean another thing with “curves.” Why else would they let a woman wear a sexy dress with a cocktail in hand? Rest Assured Furniture is definitely selling another thing aside from their couch and suite. One more thing, would you even buy that unattractive couch?
Color your Hair!
(but not with PolyGlow)
Dyeing the hair is actually a fun pastime. Girls mainly do it to feel more beautiful for themselves. That needs more emphasis not to be misunderstood. Girls pretty up for themselves, not for others, especially not for men. Sometimes though, girls need to pick the best hair color brand to make their hair look softer and shinier.
PolyGlow claims to make a “beautiful change” for women’s hair. It has six shades that can make your hair more vibrant and look healthier. Wait, there’s something wrong about this. PolyGlow says that you should color your hair to catch the guys’ attention. That’s really a turn-off. Might as well find a better hair dye brand, choose one that’s not sexist.