Friday, November 2, 2012

Things I Find Fascinating: Vintage Ads That Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

This mini-series began earlier this week with Outrageously Sexist Vintage Ads.  It continued with Blatantly Racist Vintage Ads.  Today's vintage ads are a bit more general, but I think you'll find them no less fascinating.

The oft-used phrase "It seemed like a good idea at the time..." usually denotes that, upon reflection, "It" -- whatever "It" was -- was actually not such a great idea after all. Such is the case with these ads. In some cases, where the print is smaller, I have transcribed the more relevant portions below the picture. In other cases, I have chosen not to restrain myself from making snarky comments. (Surprise, surprise.) Enjoy!

First, teach them to walk. Then, teach them to talk.
Then, teach them to shave. The rest is just details.

How soon is too soon to start your child on a soda regimen? Well, you might
want to wait till you get them home from the hospital. But after that,
they're ready to go! As the ad states, "Laboratory tests have proven that
babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a
much higher chance of gaining weight acceptance and 'fitting in' during
those awkward pre-teen and teen years. So, do yourself a favor. Do your
child a favor. Start them on a strict regiment of sodas and other sugary
carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness."
This message was brought to you by The Soda Pop Board of America.

4 out of 4 kids can't be wrong. Looking creepy sells stuff!

 A chorus of Amen's just sounded from pedophiles everywhere...

"A case of Blatz Beer in your home means much to the young
mother, and obviously baby participates in its benefits. The 
malt in the beer supplies nourishing qualities that are essential
at this time and the hops act as an appetizing, stimulating tonic."

Yeah, but you know when you take them out of
the original packaging, their value goes way down.

Lane Bryant, long-time connoisseur of plus-size fashion. Apparently,
they weren't always as sensitive in their terminology as they are today.

For that matter, neither was Sears.

Yeah, that'd numb the pain. All the pain.
And they'll keep coming back for more!

 "Iver Johnson Revolvers are not toys: they shoot straight 
and kill." At the same time, "Papa says it won't hurt us," 
he says it's "absolutely safe," and "accidental discharge" 
-- whatever that big word means -- is "impossible." 
And my Papa would never lie to me. Right?

I don't know, I haven't checked lately. I hope not.
Bolsheviks look really mean and nasty!

I hate to disappoint you, Uncle Sam, but I'm just not a hen and
chicken kind of guy. I like to eat them, but I don't really want to
raise them. If this is a prerequisite for my patriotism, as the 
ad implies, then color me unpatriotic. Or just lazy. Whatever.

This is so opposite from most of the articles and ads you'll find 
in glamor and fitness magazines these days. But I have to say,
I don't disagree with the sentiments here at all. Just being honest.

"Mary got to school early for Student Council.. Her team won
in gym. After play rehearsal, she'll Watusi with the gang.
She needs sugar in her life. For energy. She needs energyless,
artificially sweetened foods and beverages like a turtle
needs a seat belt. Sugar swings. Serve some. Sugar's got
what it takes...18 calories per teaspoon, and it's all energy!"

It's the gift that keeps on giving. Unless you're of the homicidal
persuasion. Then it's the gift that keeps on taking...lives.

 Taxidermy is certainly a noble profession,
and in its own way, an art form. But
why on earth would you stuff squirrels
standing upright in a mock wedding
ceremony. That's just...well, crazy!

I just got a really weird, really disturbing mental image upon
reading this tagline. A tree and a cow? Excuse me while I barf.

Really? A self-slicing pig? This, coupled with the previously
mentioned tree-cow coupling, is guaranteed to give me nightmares.

 I know people who would agree with this statement,
but I seriously doubt that it can be proven accurate.

True, it may keep you trim and slender, but then there's that whole
annoying lung cancer thing. You pick your poison, I suppose.

"20,679 Physicians say Luckies are less irritating...your throat
protection against irritation, against cough." Whatever you say, Doc!
 "Face the facts! When tempted to over-indulge, reach for a Lucky 
instead."  Because it's better to be thin than alive in twenty-five years.
"Eat! Eat! Eat! & Always Stay Thin!...How? With Sanitized Tape Worms."
That makes loads of sense. I'm surprised people don't try this these days.

Little-known fact: Santa Claus smokes Camels. And prefers 
Prince Albert in a can. And he wants you to, too!

What can we learn from these ads?
1) Santa also digs Luckies, and he looks oh-so-cool smoking them. 
2) Scientists prefer Chesterfields because there's no unpleasant aftertaste.
3) Recognizing the likelihood of sudden death by bus, smoking makes sense.
4) If doctors smoke Camels, they must not be bad for you after all.

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