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Vintage Ads From The Past That We Don't See Today

Written by Karen Harris

You won’t believe these ads from the past! The series of images show actual ads from the 1960s and 1970s that prove we’ve come a long way, baby! They are unhealthy, sexist, and downright dangerous…but a fun and incredible reminder of life fifty-some years ago. 

Threatened by the Invention of Artificial Sweeteners

Source: Google

Two-Four-Six-Eight! What does she appreciate? Tooth decay! Obesity! Diabetes! We know artificial sweeteners are bad, but this ad is actually telling parents to get their kids all hyped up on sugar because it is a good way for them to get through the day. Racing heart? That’ll get Jenny in the spirit for the pep rally! Jittery? Bounce it off at trampoline class! Sugar crash? Maybe she will get a good night’s sleep. Then she can wake up in the more, refreshed and ready to start another sugar-fueled day. You go, Jenny! 

Video Game "Atari" Advertisement with Stevie Wonder

Source: Pinterest

Did this ad just poke fun at a person with a disability? Yes, it did! Superstar recording artist Stevie Wonder has been blind since infancy. He hasn’t let that disability stop him from becoming one of America’s all-time great singer and songwriter. But asking Stevie to be the pitch man for a video gaming system seems like quite the stretch. Surely there was another celebrity spokesman that Atari could have used. Still, it is humbling and inspiring that Stevie is able to joke about his disability. 

Beauty Ad for Bleaching Skin Cream

Source: Pinterest

Seriously? This ad is for a skin whiting cream so the African-American women can lighten their skin to look more Caucasian. Unbelievable! This ad seems to imply that lighter skin color is more beautiful. Thank goodness we know that’s not true. It is great to see that the modeling industry and beauty products are now embracing diversity and that women of all skin colors can be proud of their ethnicity. Beauty is color-blind! 

Benson and Hedges Cigar Advertisement (1960s)

Source: Google

Hmmm…a woman is just a woman? This cigar brand has borrowed a famous quote from author Rudyard Kipling of “The Jungle Book” fame to use as a mean of promoting their cigars. Even though this quote was written around the turn of the century, it remains totally sexist when this ad appeared. Our first thoughts were, “Wonder what Kipling’s wife thought about this quote?” but then we learned that, throughout his marriage to Caroline Balestier, Kipling was controlled, oppressed, and bullied by his domineering wife. Maybe that was her way of showing him that a woman is not just a woman. 

Interwoven Esquire Socks Advertisement - 70s

Source: Pinterest

Just a bunch of naked dudes in sunglasses, selling socks! We are not sure if this ad was targeted toward women or men, but the message is clear…these guys are comfortable in their own skin and their own socks! We think the concept was supposed to be sexy, but we are trying not to think about the naked butts on those Plexiglas boxes. And the whole sunglasses thing just has us confused. 

Sexist Acme Coffee Advertisement

Source: Google

This ad played on the gender stereotypes of the day…with the dutiful housewife whose only purpose in life is to cater to her husband and fulfill his coffee desires. Ironically, this ad came out during an era when more and more women were entering the workforce and throwing off the shackles of domesticity and the expectations of society. In just a few short years, the number of working women climbed to new heights, leaving husbands to make their own coffee. Or better yet, to brew a big pot of wife-pleasing coffee. 

Rice Counsel of America Advertisement (1960s)

Source: Google

Using racial stereotypes to sell a product should be advertising taboo number 1, but not so in the 1960s. The Rice Council of America actually tried to encourage weight-conscious Americans to substitute their potatoes for rice by using the racially-sensitive joke about there being no fat Chinese people. Not only is this ad racially and culturally offensive, but it is inaccurate, too. Besides, that big pat of butter on the processed white rice does not indicate that this is a low-fat, low-calorie side dish. 

Women Wanted for Careers with Airlines (1960s)

Source: Google

No equal opportunity employment here! During the 1960s, the airlines only hired women to work as hostesses, airline stewardesses, and receptionists. After all, those were ‘women’s jobs’. The nation’s airlines when even farther with their discrimination…they claimed they only hired women but the truth was, they only hired slim and pretty women. In fact, some of the airlines competed for passengers by advertising that their stewardesses were better looking and sexier than the competition’s stewardesses. 

Alcoa Aluminum Advertisement (1960s)

Source: Pinterest

Ah, yes…women. The fairer sex. So weak and frail that they need a big, strong man to help them with those difficult household chores, like opening a catsup bottle. Alcoa is, of course, offering a super helpful product and, yea, we have all struggled with opening bottles from time to time. But this ad presents that innovative product in such a sexist and stereotyped way that it comes across as offensive…at least it does as we look back at it fifty-plus years later. 

The Sexual Revolution - A Book Advertisement on "How to Get Laid"

Source: Google

The sixties saw the birth of the sexual revolution, but apparently, some people needed help with the opposite sex. This book, sold via mail order so customers wouldn’t have the embarrassment of purchasing it in a bookstore, promised to help the reader get laid! The process seems to even be broken down into easy to follow steps…meet her, turn her on, get her into bed, satisfy her, and keep her! It is a simple as that. We are curious how many of the suggestions in this book would pass the #MeToo movement’s approval today. 

Broomsticks Pants and Man-handling Women (1960s)

Source: Pinterest

More objectifying of women! According to this advertisement, if one wears the right kind of pants, he will quite literally fight for the object of his desire. The poor, scantily-clad girl in the middle is being man-handled by all the would-be suitors, in their dapper trousers, who feel as though their appropriate choice of pants gives them the right to forcibly demand the attention of a pretty girl. The young lady apparently has no say in the matter. 

Sex Sells in a Casuals Pants Ad (1970s)

Source: Pinterest

According to the ad, these hideous, but totally groovy, men’s pants are built for action. We aren’t sure exactly what action is being implied, but the young lady seated in the car behind the models, with her finger suggestively on her lips, seems to know. In fact, the notation says she is a spirited performer with a quick response. The message is clear…wearing outlandish pants will get her motor running. 

Spanking with a Side of Chase and Sanborn Coffee Ad (1960s)

Source: Pinterest

Coffee with a side of domestic abuse! Far from being partners in a marriage, this ad seems to reinforce the idea that the husband is the head of the household and the one in charge. The wife is his subservient. Like a misbehaving child, the wife should be punished if she defies her husband’s wishes…like giving him the wrong kind of coffee. The image in this advertisement shows the husband spanking his wife as a form of punishment…not in a kinky sort of way. 

Coppertone Sun Tanning Lotion Ad from 1972

Source: Pinterest

The claim being made in this ad is totally opposite of what we know is true today. Coppertone is stating that there is a magical ingredient in its line of sunscreen products that will have the user’s skin look younger for years to come. Wrong! As any dermatologist will tell you, any coloration of your skin caused by sun exposure damages your skin, whether you are using a sun care product or not. Suntans might look good, but each tan does more and more damage to the skin that cannot be reversed. Damaged skin looks aged and forms more wrinkles as the person gets older. And then there is the whole skin cancer thing…

Datacomp and the Sexy Secretary Advertisement

Source: Pinterest

With her long, tanned legs and short dress, this young lady doesn’t fit the image of a computer nerd at all. Office machines were revolutionizing the American workplace in the sixties, but as this ad shows, no matter the innovation, there should be a sexy secretary on hand in every office. Ads, commercials, and even TV shows, movies, and books, of the decade, often featured the sexy secretary trope to play on the virile businessman’s hot secretary fantasy. 

Drummonds Sweaters for Men who are Apparently Better than Women in this Ad from the 1960s

Source: Pinterest

“Indoors, women are useful…even pleasant. On a mountain, they are something of a drag” is what this ad from the sixties says. The photo even shows two sweater-wearing gents looking like they have a bromance going on while a woman is dangling over a cliff. What this ad is saying is that real men need to go out into nature and bond with other real men. Women should just stay home. Wonder how they would have reacted to meet someone like Ashima Shiraishi, a rock climbing goddess, who is widely thought to be the world’s best rock climber. How’s that for girl power? 

Fred and Barney Smoking?

Source: Google

Prior to the surgeon general’s report that linked smoking with lung cancer and heart disease, it was considered the “adult” thing to smoke. Everyone did it. Even cartoon characters. No one batted an eye when Flintstones characters, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, lit up a cigarette after a long day’s work. Most of the children who were watching the show had parents who smoked. In fact, kids were around so many adults that smoked cigarettes that seeing their favorite cartoon characters doing it was natural. 

The Frito Bandito Advertisement

Source: Google

The Frito Bandito, a spokesperson form Frito-Lays, perpetuated the stereotype that all Mexicans are criminals. The caricature of the South-of-the-border bandit was drawn with a thin mustache and an oversized sombrero. He even seems to be speaking in an accent by calling "kids" "KEEDS." The Frito Bandito is wearing some sort of military-like uniform, which has us rather confused. We are not sure if his is a rogue bandito or is working for some branch of the military. Either way, the ad links together Mexicans and criminal activity is a racist and stereotyped way.

Groom and Clean Hair Tonic (1960s)

Source: Pinterest

In this ad for a hair-care product for men, the prominent photograph is not showing the product or even a man using the product. It is showing a beautiful woman, err, mermaid. The hair-care product is water activated so the message in this ad is clear. If a man uses this product and goes into the water, his luxurious hair will attract mermaids. And then, he will get to try a new experience, which can mean only one thing…mermaid love. 

Hotpoint Washer and Dryer Advertisement

Source: Google

Barefoot and pregnant, Jean’s uber thoughtful husband was kind enough to get his wife a washer and dryer so she can continue to keep his clothes clean and fresh even though she is carrying his child (and should be resting!). And apparently Jean is thrilled with the new appliances. This ad, like so many of the 1960s, depicts a “traditional” household with a working dad, stay-at-home housewife, and a few adorning children. All that is missing is the white picket fence. 

Lestoil Cleaner Advertisement (1960s) - For Women Only

Source: Pinterest

In the 1960s, people were space-obsessed and eager for the modern era that they could see on the horizon. Apparently, though, that modern, space-age future included gender-specific chores, as this advertisement implies. Women might become engineers, rocket scientists, and astronauts, but they are still going to be expected to do the cooking and cleaning. This poor woman may have to clean the moon! We hear that’s a pretty dusty place. 

Levy's Real Jewish Rye Bread Ad - 1960s

Wow, two racial references in one! What this ad is saying is that Native Americans are about as far from being Jewish as one could get. Isn’t it ironic, though, that there is a theory being presented, based on DNA and genetic testing, that posits that the Native Americans may be descendants of the Lost Tribe of Israel? This throws a whole new twist on the photo in this ad. 

Lucky Tiger Hair Wax Gets the Girls!

Source: Pinterest

There is just so much wrong with this ad! The weird, smug-looking, tiger-headed hunter is kind of creepy for starters, but he is hunting buxom women and mounting their heads and cleavage onto his wall like a horror-movie psychopath. Although the wording of the ad makes it sound like the hunter’s hair tonic attracts the ladies, the image suggests that he goes in search of them. We can’t help but think that the mounted heads on the wall gives a double meaning to the word ‘rack.’ 

A Woman's Allowance - A MasterCard Marine Credit Card Ad (1970s)

Source: Pinterest

Hmmm…so women are so irresponsible with money and finances that they can’ be trusted with a credit card? That is the message being presented in this advertisement. The scenario implies that the husband is the sole breadwinner of the family and, therefore, should be in charge of the family finances. The housewife should not have access to money because she may spend recklessly. Sadly, many housewives were so financially depended upon their husbands and were only give a small allowance from which to purchase groceries and other household items. 

Sandoz Pharmaceuticals for Mellaril-1965

Source: Pinterest

We are not sure what to make of this advertisement for a mental health drug. It seems to be targeted toward housewives and the underlying message is that some housewives need tranquilizer meds in order for them to be happy and productive at home. Does this mean that women who sought opportunities outside the home were only doing so because they were depressed? Is it a way for patriarchal misogynists to drug females to keep them complacent? So many questions about this one… 

OJ Simpson Advertising "OJ"

Source: Google

For a long time, it seemed like OJ Simpson had it all. He had an illustrious career as a football player and actor. He was a Heisman Trophy winner for the University of Southern California Trojans and played in the NFL for 11 seasons. After he retired from football, he started acting and is known for appearing in “The Naked Gun” films. He even had a beautiful wife and kids. Why wouldn’t Tree Sweet orange juice want “The Juice” as a spokesperson in their ads? It wasn’t until 1994 that OJ Simpson’s life took a drastic and dark turn. 

Temptations - the PolyGlow Hair Color Ad (1970s)

Source: Reddit

Sexual innuendos from a hair dye! So it seems that women in the 1960s who had dull, lifeless hair, were less likely to hook up than women who colored their hair. Of course, not just any hair dye would do. Many of them left women with dry, brittle hair that was certainly not touchable and luxurious. But not so with PolyGlow Hair Dyes which promises to leave a woman with hair so soft, the men couldn’t help but touch it. 

Rest Assured Furniture advertisement (1970s)

Source: Pinterest

Sex sells, even in the 1960s. And even when selling a couch! Wearing a cleavage-showing gown and holding a cocktail, this glamorous woman, who kind of looks like a sixties-style swinger, is talking to us about her curves. When this ad came out, people were most likely drawn to the beautiful model as much as the furniture behind her, but we can’t help but be reminded of our grandparents’ basement rec room when we see this couch.

Rice Krinkles Cereal Advertisement (1960s)

Source: Pinterest

Why is it that when any company advertised a rice product in the 1960s, they had to have a classic Asia stereotype character to promote it? Was it an unwritten rule? Even for a product like rice cereal, it seemed as though there had to be an obligatory Asian caricature. This character, created by Post cereal, even had a name, So-Hi. We can’t help but read too much into this name choice, as well. Is it a veiled marijuana reference?  

Sansabelt Action Pants Advertisement (1960s)

Source: Google

We are in shock…pants with an action zone and an extra large “snack sack”? How was this ad not censored in the 1960s? Did the large starburst strategically placed over the model’s crotch make it more acceptable? For us, it only serves to draw the attention right to this man’s ‘action zone’. The dog in this photo looks rather annoyed but the woman looks like she is eager to test out the action zone. 

HK Scene Jeans Advertisement

Source: Google

The SceneJeans ad describes them using all sorts of loaded words like “lusty”, “brawny”, “bold”, “saucy,” and “exciting.” Admittedly, the female model shows in this ad does seem particularly excited about the pants her companion is wearing. This groovy couple both seem to be smitten with the dude’s crazy patterned pants. Maybe, too smitten. 

Did Fat-Shaming Happen in the '60s? Here's a Sears Ad for Chubby Clothing for Girls (1960s)

Source: Pinterest

Did Sears just fat shame this little girl? First of all, she is not chubby at all. Second, if she was, should Sears be calling her out like that? And by name? We get it…Sears carries all sized of children’s clothing. But this poor model had to go through her childhood thinking she was chubby. We are sure that did wonderful things for her body image and self-esteem. Tracy Harper wherever you are…you are beautiful, girl! 

Women are bad Drivers - Volkswagen Bug Advertisement

Source: Pinterest

Even car manufacturers hopped on the bandwagon to make fun of terrible women drivers. In this advertisement, the company implies that, if anyone in the family is going to get into a fender bender, it would be the wife. The age-old joke about women being the worst drivers is sexist and archaic. You know why insurance rates are higher for male drivers than they are for female drivers? Because men are statistically more likely to get into car accidents. Take that, Volkswagon.  

Spread Your Legs Pontiac Car Advertisement - A Sexually Charged Ad

Source: Google

The slogan in this Pontiac ad has a loaded double meaning, which we are sure is why they used it. On the surface, it was meant to show that the car has ample leg room in the back seat. But it also has obvious sexual implications. People were becoming more open about sex in the 1960s and 1970s, especially after the publication of the 1972 book, “The Joy of Sex”. The free love movement of the hippie culture only added to it. So chances are, no one was too offended by this ad. 

Topper Toys for Suzy Homemakers, After All, Isn't that What Every Girl Wanted to Be?

Source: Pinterest

Toys for young girls in the 1960s tried to push off the societal expectations on them that they should learn to enjoy cooking and cleaning because they were destined to become housewives. Toy washing machines, toy mixers, toy stoves, toy vacuums…all were actually teaching tools to help prepare young girls to be homemakers. But check out the wording on this ad…it is rather anti-hippie. It claims that Susie doesn’t want to wear beads, she wants to wear shoes. And she doesn’t want to be a kook, she wants to cook. 

The Thermador Oven Advertisement of the 1970s Definitely "Stacked" the Innuendos!

Source: Pinterest

Of course a built-in oven that is ‘stacked’ should be promoted using a busty model who is also stacked. This is another example of the ‘sex sells’ mindset that is still prevalent in advertising today. If an ad shows a beautiful, wealthy, or glamorous person, the underlying message is that the consumer will also feel beautiful, wealthy, and glamorous if they buy that product. Evenif it is just an oven. 

Tipalet Cigarette Advertisement (1960s-70s)

Source: Google

Does this ad take things a little too far? Perhaps. While it is innocently saying that women are attracted to the smell of cigar smoke and will follow a man who blows smoke at her, there is a much more salacious double meaning being implied. It seems startling that innuendos like this were so blatant, but the sexual revolution of the 1960s meant that people were more open to talking about all sorts of bedroom activities. 

Tiparillo Cigar Advertisement (1960s-70s) A Little Too Provocative?

Source: Pinterest

The Tiparillo cigar marketing team really liked to push the envelope with their 1960s ad campaigns. This one may even have crossed the line into soft porn. The model’s open shirt and nearly exposed breasts are rather unnecessary for selling the cigars, but the cigar company has earned a reputation for releasing edgy, provocative ads. Most of them tried to mix sex with style and sophistication…like this one in which the bare-breasted seductress is a classically-trained violinist. 

Virginia Slims Cigarette Advertisement - The Only One for Women

Virginia Slims was the first cigarette to be marketed toward women. Throughout their feminist ad campaigns, they showed women of the past versus the modern women, to show how far women have progressed. In the 1960s and 1970s, women’s equality and woman’s rights were hot-button topics. Virginia Slims helped to fan the flames of feminism by showing the rebellious side of women and depicting them in roles that broke stereotypes and expected molds. 

Volkswagen Advertisement (1970s)

Source: Pinterest

Volkswagen had a number of ads that poked fun at women for being bad, nervous, distracted drivers. This wide-eyed, terrified-looking woman seems afraid to be behind the wheel but Volkswagen can help her out and put her fears to rest with their easy automatic transmission. We are sure the car company was only trying to solve what they perceived to be a real problem…terrible female drivers…but the resulting ad just comes across as insulting. 

Did the Weyenberg Massagic Shoes Ad (1960s) Suggest Keeping Women Underfoot?

Source: Pinterest

Keep her where she belongs? Where might that be? It sounds like a sexist way to keep women under the control of men, by using a shoe to keep women safely at home where they won’t be tempted with radical ideas…like getting a job! We aren’t sure exactly how the shoe fits in though. 

White Horse Liquor Ad During the New Dating Era

Source: Google

Dating was new and different in the 1960s than it had been in the past. Because people started marrying later, more young adults were living on their own, so dates could take place at bachelor pads instead of the parents’ home. This ad seems to warn young ladies to not go to a gentleman’s bachelor pad alone because he might not be a gentleman after all. Date rape is still drastically under-reported today and it was rarely reported back in the sixties. A young lady had to be savvy when dating and sometimes that meant calling in her girl squad for back-up. 

Winnebago Motorhome Advertisement (1970s)

Source: Google

The freedom of the sixties meant the physical freedom as well as sexual freedom. With a motorhome, young playboys could entertain their female guests anywhere they wanted. The implications of owning a motorhome meant, for these swingers, that they could have sex at the beach or in the mountains or in a random parking lot, all in the safety of their romantic getaway on wheels. 

Diet Hint: All Sugar!

Source: Pinterest

Today, everyone knows that soft drinks are loaded with sugar and sodium. In fact, many nutrition experts point to pop and soda as the number one contributing factor to obesity and diabetes…thanks to the whole Supersize and Big Gulp era. It boggles the mind that, in the 1960s, the sugar industry actually pushed for people to use sugar as a tool for sticking to a diet. This ad claims that a bit of sugar before dinner will spike your energy and curb your appetite. We know now that there is a lot more to it than that…and that sugar is an addictive substance. 

Brillo During the Changing of Times and Household Duties

Source: Reddit

The woman’s place is in the kitchen … at least that’s what advertising believed in the 1960s. As this ad shows, the huge pile of pots and pans might be too much for a weak and frail housewife, but luckily, she has Brillo pads to supply the muscle her gender lacks. One progressive thing this ad has going for it, however, is that it appears that the husband may have helped her wash the dishes. The times, they were a-changin’ and maybe this husband realizes that housework is a shared responsibility. 

Cochon Prodigue Ad - Anti Meat?

Source: Reddit

We know that pork, bacon, and sausage comes from a pig, but it is rather disturbing to see the pig carving himself up with a large knife and putting parts of his flesh on a plate. No one wants to see a hog committing hari-kari. In the 1960s and 1070s, more and more people moved away from their agrarian roots, leaving the family farm for cities and suburbs. That meant people had distanced themselves from the nasty part of the meat industry and no longer saw the face behind their meat. 

Flip 'N Style Hair Dryer for the Bald? Really?

Source: Pinterest

It sure looks as though this ad is poking fun at women who have lost their hair, perhaps due to chemotherapy or alopecia. If the intent was to try to sell hair dryers to anyone and everyone one…because, hey, who wouldn’t want a hair dryer?...this ad might have carried things a bit too far. Mocking people with illnesses or disabilities is in poor taste and advertisers should know to be more sensitive, even in the sixties. 

Jade East Aftershave Ad, Give it or Get it Yourself

Culturally insensitive, this product of aftershave, called Jade East, is using a sexy Asian model to play on the product’s name, which could appear to be an Asian name. Jade, a semi-precious stone, was often used in China and by adding the word ‘east’ to the title, the aftershave takes on an exotic façade. The ad’s slogan, “If she doesn’t give it to you, get it yourself” is filled with sexual innuendo as well. 

Kenwood Chef - Making Life Easier for the Women to Cook

Source: Reddit

Even though women were advocating for an equal share of the workforce, societal norms still dictated that women be dutiful housewives. The sixties and seventies were filled with cultural references sharing the belief that women should stay at home, keeping house and raising the children, and advertising played into this old-fashioned notion with ads like this one that states that women are supposed to cook for their husbands. It seemed as though advertising companies were doing their part to reverse any progress that women’s lib made by continuing with sexist ads like this one.  

Love's Baby Soft (1974) - A Not So Innocent Advertisement

Source: Reddit

Every pre-teen girl wanted Love’s Baby Soft perfume! And parents often allowed them to have this brand of perfume as a gateway into other fragrances and cosmetics. It was, after all, a baby-scented, innocent product, right? Perhaps not. Ads like this one, with the catch phrase “innocence is sexier than you think,” was loaded with sexual overtones. Even the images used to market this fragrance, like the one shown here, show a virginal young girl, most often wearing white, with a slightly sexy twist to it. 

Mr. Leggs Pants - for the Domineering Man Obviously

Source: Reddit

It is hard to ignore this obviously sexist ad showing the man, in dapper pants, in the domineering role and the woman is a clearly submissive role. In fact, the female model’s head has been superimposed onto a tiger skin rug…as though to say that the man has tamed the tigress. The slogan, “it’s nice to have a woman around the house,” really has nothing to do with the brand of pants he is trying to sell. Neither does the tigress-skin rug. In all, we think this ad was just trying to be sexist for sexist sake. 

Warners Concentrate Girdle and Little Fibber Bra

Source: Reddit

This ad doesn’t preach a “you’re beautiful just the way you are” message. Just the opposite, in fact. It is telling pear-shaped women, with smaller busts and larger butts, that their body shape is not desirable and should, therefore, be changed. Wire-reinforced girdles and padded bras will conceal the wearer’s God-given body and present her is a more flattering silhouette. This ad is a prime example of how advertisers have defined beauty standards and caused generations of women to suffer from poor body image and low self-esteem. 

PEP Vitamins! For Women!

Source: Pinterest

Here is another ad that seems to push the idea that women should be at their happiest when they are cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and caring for the children. How does she do it all? Is she some kind of wonder woman? No…she’s just loaded up with vitamins and energy pills! According to this ad, the vitamin pills will even give the happy housewife enough energy to keep on cleaning, even after her husband gets home from his 9-to-5 job. On top of that, the pills will even make her prettier! It sounds far-fetched, but the ad states that a husband’s number one desire is to have a cute, hard-working cleaning-machine for a wife. 

Pitney Bowes Advocating the Question of Murdering Women

Source: Reddit

Yes, you read that right! This ad is actually talking about murder and wondering if it is wrong to kill a woman for rebuking his advances. The boss in this little scenario is hoping to win the affection of his hot secretary by easing her workload with a postage meter (of all things!). But the sultry secretary has other plans for all the free time the postage meter creates…she is going to use the extra time to learn more office gossip which probably includes learning about the boss’s infidelities with the other secretaries in the office. He ruse was uncovered…by a postage meter! 

Sega Ad - For the Lonely Men

Source: Reddit

A real ad for Saga’s joystick! It is difficult to get more sexually explicit that this ad. The slogan, along with the drawing of the hand are both packed with sexual content thinly disguised as an ad for a video game. If you read the wording of the ad, you will also see that it features words and phrases with a sexual connotation, like “writhing” and “squeezing your knob” and “shooting all over the place”. If this ad was trying to say that playing video games will make a guy popular with the ladies, it seems to fail to deliver that message. Instead, it seems to imply that lonely, gamer nerds can satisfy themselves. 

Lysol - A Personal Hygiene Product?

Source: Pinterest

It doesn’t sound particularly safe, but this ad for Lysol claims that the disinfectant can be used as a feminine hygiene product. In fact, this ad claims that is it so effective as a feminine hygiene product that not using it is a divorceable offense. To avoid the heartache of this poor woman, a model wife and mother in every other regard, a good woman should never forget to disinfect that one important area. We just can’t imagine that the smell of Lysol would be a turn on.  

Griffin Microshine Boot Polish 

Source: Reddit

Even Santa is irresistible to a woman who loves a well-polished shoe. A scantily-clad woman with suggestive curves sits in her see-through negligee to await the arrival of Good Ol’ St. Nick, but when she catches a glimpse of his shiny boots, her heart skips a beat! Who knew Santa could be so sexy? She didn’t even need to see his snowy white beard or his belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly. She is eager to get her present. 

Corn Flakes Ad - Hopping on the Bandwagon 

Source: Reddit

Even though Native Americans were granted full citizenship in the 1920s, stereotyping and discrimination against Native Americans was a reoccurring theme in the world of advertising. The majority of the time, the depictions of Native Americans was inaccurate and insulting. Even Kellogg’s hopped on the bandwagon with this ad from the 1960s showing a Native American clutching a box of Corn Flakes, declaring that he would not trade the breakfast cereal for the island of Manhattan, a reference to the fact that European settlers swindled the Native Americans out of land with lop-sided trades, broken promises, and outright lies. 

J&B Rare Scotch Whiskey Making You a Man of Style and Sophistication

Source: Reddit

Ordering the right kind of whiskey demonstrated to those around you that you are a man of style and sophistication who is worthy of respect and admiration. Or you could be a target for gold-diggers who see you as a potential sugar-daddy or Daddy Warbucks. The alluring young lady is this ad admits that she knows nothing about the gentleman except his drink order, but that is all she needs to know. She is smitten. But it is unclear if she is smitten with him or with the wealth she thinks he has. 

Van Heusen Oxford Shirts Advertisement

Racist and culturally insensitive, this ad seems to imply that well-dressed, successful businessmen are clean-cut and white. The portrayal of the native as naked and accessorized with a bone and nose ring is most-likely inaccurate and offensive. In most cases, foreigners were drawn up by ad agency art departments with no thought about cultural accuracy. This is why we see so many stereotyped characterizations in the ads of the 1960s. 

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Karen Harris

Writer

Karen left the world of academic, quitting her job as a college professor to write full-time. She spends her days with her firefighter husband and four daughters on a hobby farm with an assortment of animals, including a goat named Atticus, a turkey named Gravy, and a chicken named Chickaletta.