Dec 19, 2012

Dirty Old Santa

He's usually seen squeeky clean and fit for a family audience but back in the day, Santa Claus loved having a good smoke and grabbing a piece of tail.

Lucky Strikes, 1936.

Lucky Strikes, 1930's
He'll be coughing before he even reaches your chimney.

White Owl Cigars, 1940.
"He'll purr like a kitten..."

Murad Tobacco
Santa's looking a little sinister in this undated ad for Turkish brand Murad Tobacco.

Edgeworth Tobacco, 1935
A "right fine" Mrs Claus is on the mind in this ad for Edgeworth.

Camel, 1948.
"Prince Albert"... before it meant that other thing.

Pall Mall, 1950.
Throat-Scratch. You can get it from smoking cigarette brands that are not Pall Mall... or by engaging in too much oral. "Puff by puff... you're always ahead"

Mojud Stockings, 1951.
Here, little St. Nick is gifted with a view that's worth more than a few presents of Mojud Stockings. Only coming around once a year allows you to be a pervert.

Griffin Microsheen, 1958.
There isn't much of Santa to see here except his polished black boots (courtesy of Griffin Microsheen) and a shining good example of 1950's era sexism. Judging by the amount of detail visible under that girl's sheer, I'm tipping this appeared in a men's magazine like Playboy.

And in case there was any doubt... We have Kris Kringle and his Marlboro's here, smoking up a pipe dream laden with lady curves.
Cheeky bugger!

Happy Holidays!

Nov 20, 2012

A Baker's Dozen of Hostess Vintage Ads

The last Hostess cakes are being plundered and stockpiled off the shelves. The iconic American wholesale bakers have baked their last batch of cakes and breads. Their products included Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Sno-balls, Drakes Cakes, Choco-Diles, Nature's Pride, Dolly Madison, Butternut Breads and Wonder Bread.

Time to look back at some of the brand's advertising over its 90-plus year history.

The company first opened its business and gained a national audience from its base of operations in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919. Here's a few examples of Hostess Cakes print ads from the late 1920's.

Hostess Cakes, "Devil's Food Bar", 1929.

Hostess Cakes, "Devil's Food Loaf", 1930.

Hostess Cakes, "Zesty Lemon Loaf", 1929.

Hostess, "Creamed Filled Cup Cakes", 1956.
By the 1950's, Hostess had established its line of Cup Cakes as well as their popular Twinkies and Sno-balls.

Hostess Sno-Balls, "Glamour Gal", 1950's.
Some attempts to dress up their Sno-balls as sexy and "well-stacked" typified the sexism of the time. This ad is targeting retail stores in a business-to-business communication.

Hostess, "Ding Dongs", 1967.
1967 - the introduction of Hostess Ding Dongs.

Wonder Bread, "Date Bait", 1968.

Wonder Bread, "Boy Trap", late 1960's.
By the late 1960's, Hostess' Wonder Bread brand was also making a pitch to position itself as a way for girls to attract boys.

Hostess Mascots (from Left to Right)
Capatain Cupcake, Twinkie the Kid, Happy Ho-Ho, Fruit Pie the Magician
Not pictured: Chauncey Choco-dile
The 1970's saw the brand establish mascots for each of its popular lines.

Happy Ho Ho for Hostess Ho Ho's, "Devil's Food", 1970.

Twinkie the Kid, TV Commercial, 1980's

Twinkie the Kid first appeared in 1971. With a 10-gallon hat, kerchief and cowboy boots, he has saved the day ever since. He had a legendary sweet disposition and legacy as a wrangler of wrongdoing, having lassoed the hearts of millions. When it comes to true legends, Twinkie the Kid takes the cake.

ITT, "Twinkies", 1985.
Hostess went through several company holdership changes before its ultimate demise. For the majority of its life, the holding company was known as Interstate Bakeries. This name was changed to Interstate Brands with more expansions and acquisitions. This was taken over by IT company DPF in the mid-1970's, looking to diversify. By the 1980's, corporate restructuring saw ITT, the technology branch of DPF, separate itself from the Interstate Bakeries division. This ad explains why that split was made.

Hostess Cup Cakes, "90 Years"
Ad Agency: Bernstein-Rein, October, 2009.
The 1990's saw the baking conglomerate continue to expand, but over the last decade, management had run up significant debt and after several bankruptcy filings, the company has finally gone under recently.

Pour a glass of milk for the dessert foods that are no more.

Oct 30, 2012

Halloween Ads of Yesteryear

With All Hallow's Eve imminent, here's a small selection of vintage Halloween-themed print ads that I've come across.

Hunt's Catsup, "Happy Halloween", 1967.
Hunt's Catsup puts a tomato twist on the traditional Halloween pumpkin.

Budweiser, 1953.

Budweiser, 1960.
A couple of kitsch beer ads for Budweiser in theme.

Michelob, "If Michelob were a ghost...", 1970.
Michelob beer makes an attempt to be spooky.

Griffin Microsheen, "Neatest Trick Or Treat", 1956.
Witches are a common theme. In this 50's ad, it's difficult to tell what is being advertised (without the blatant product shot) and what is going on. At least Griffin Microsheen show almost an entire shiny shoe - worn by a scary creepy pumpkinhead, accompanied by his burlesque witch in scantily-clad black.

P&G, Hidden Magic Hairspray, Mademoiselle, September, 1965.

Ronrico, Rumkin, 1983.
More witches. P&G's Hidden Magic Hairspray and Ronrico Rum (and their "Rumkin") have eerily similar black witches selling their wares.

Milky Way Candy Bars, "Here Kiddie Kiddie Kiddie!", 1954.

Sun-Maid Raisins, "Trick Or Treat", 1964.
It wouldn't be Halloween without any "trick or treat" ads. These are from Milky Way Candy Bars and Sun-Maid Raisins. I think if you gave out raisins as a treat these days you may run the risk of being egged...??

These next few involve some interesting costume and dress-up.

Smirnoff Martini, Newsweek, 1968.

Smirnoff Vodka, "Frankenstein", 1967.

Two-Page Spread for General Telephone & Electronics (GTE) & Sylvania Incandescent-Fluorescent Bulbs, "Frankenstein", 1970.
GTE shed new light on bad flourescent lighting.

Litronix Calculators, 1975.
Is Dracula doing his best impersonation of Sesame Street's The Count? I don't get this one. Who "sticks their neck out" with a calculator? And why does a Litronix one solve this problem? The convoluted body copy goes some way to help explain it. But I still think it sucks.

Genuine Soil From Dracula's Castle, late 1970's.
Ads like this one featured quite prominently in comics back in the late 70's & early 80's. I don't know how many kids were duped into buying the "Genuine Soil from Dracula's Castle" - complete with "Certificate of Authenticity". And of course, it came in a little coffin-shaped pendant. All for just $9.95!

Panasonic Quintrix II, 1977.
I bet the reception on that box TV along with the screen clarity and color reproduction is frightful.

Elvira for LBMS, 1991.
And I couldn't have a Halloween post without the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira.

Here, she's plugging some 1991 era software which "cuts through" all the paperwork - hence the chainsaw visual pun. If only she'd used that metaphorical saw to cut through all that body copy text. And not a single trademark Elvira witty double entendre quip!.

Oct 16, 2012

I Can Haz Vintage Catvertising

Cats in print.

They've been doing it for years in advertising - "catvertising" or "meowketing".

Long before keyboard kitties and LOLcats dominated the digital sphere. Cats (as well as dogs and other little furries) resonate with the domestic audience and pet lovers around the world.

Here's a look back at a select few vintage print ads featuring our feline friends.

Black Cats

Poster for "Cabaret du Chat Noir" Re-opening, Paris, 1896.
The translation of "Chat Noir" from French is "Black Cat" (no surprises there). The above poster advertises the re-opening of the "Cabaret du Chat Noir" in Paris, October, 1896.

Le Chat Noir, 1922.
This is a cover for a French 25 cent weekly journal. which I assume has something to do with knitting. The scrawl of writing below the title reads what looks to be "J'evide les nerf en pelote?" which roughly translates to "My nerves are like a ball of yarn (being toyed with by a cat)".

Lanvin Perfume, "My Sin", 1950's.
This advertising poster was part of a campaign for Lanvin perfume in the 1950's. Here we see the black cat as a symbol of elegance, style and perhaps mystery.

Boucheron, "Black Cat", 1986.
 The black cat in Boucheron's 1980's campaign offers a sense of luxury and desire.

Movado Museum L'Imperiale, Black Cat Example, 1980.
More than a few jewellery brand names used a black cat to help position their brand. Here, Movado uses the picture of a real black cat with silhouetted green eyes.

White Cats

White cats with their bright, fluffy and pristine fur are another frequent feline feature of ads over the years.

Fleetwood Cigarettes, 1943.
They are often portrayed as symbols of purity and innocence and cleanliness - and as can be seen above, even for a brand of smoky cigarettes.

National Society Of Radiators, "Ideal Classic", Italy (Undated)

Gaines Viso, Viso Gürtel, Poster by Von Allmen, 1950.
  Cats (of any color) can also depict royalty, high stature or simply vanity.


The power of cuteness in print.

Packer's Tar Soap, 1906.

The Orgasmatron from The Pink Pussy Cat Boutique, "Xmas", 1975.
I believe the little kitten above on the "Orgasmatron" is purely metaphorical.

Other Kitties
Chevrolet Corvette, "Love Seat", The New Yorker, 19th May, 1956.
I wonder if Chevy picked this cat for the photo purely because its coat matched the leather seats??

Tabby Cats

By the 1980's, tabbies featured quite prominently in ads as the cat for the everyman. Many of these ads weren't particularly special unless you had a tabby of your own you could relate to. They are usually used for cat-related brands and products to display a range of kitty emotions.

Purina, "Happy Cat" Cat Food, 1984.
Happy tabby is happy.

"Kitty Litter Brand" Kitty Litter, 1984.
Sad tabby is sad.

Meow Mix, 1987.
Hungry tabby is hungry.

And Finally...

One of the ads from the original "Mad Men" era that helped to spawn the creative advertising revolution of the 1960's. This ad, featuring a decked out cat, was developed by Bill Bernbach, ad creative guru, from Doyle Dane Bernbach along with Bob Gage (Art Direction) and Judy Protas (Body Copy). Together, they came up with an interesting idea to promote Ohrbach's Department Store to fashion-conscious New Yorkers.

Ohrbach's Department Store, "I found out about Joan", Doyle Dane Bernbach, NYC, 1958.
Headline & Body Copy:

I found out about Joan

The way she talks, you'd think she was in Who's Who. Well! I found out What's what with her. Her husband owns a bank? Sweetie, not even a bank account. Why that palace of theirs has wall-to-wall mortgages! And that car? Darling, that's horsepower, not earning power. They won it in fifty-cent raffle! Can you imagine? And those clothes! Of course she does dress divinely, But really... a mink stole, and Paris suits, and all those dresses... on his income? Well darling, I found out about that too. I just happened to be going her way and I saw Joan come out of Ohrbach's!