Friday, 22 February 2013

I am speechless...

The most shocking part about the following advertisements from the 50s and 60s is that some of us may have already been born when they featured in the press......they are in our time.....so much for the good old days.......

I was doing some research in the National Library a while ago on the early editions of a major women's magazine and developed a fascination for the advertisements used in the 50s in particular. Clearly after the war, females needed putting in their place (given they capably took on most jobs while men were off fighting and had to give them up on their return from war).

These ads had me shaking my head....I wonder what people in 50 years time will be saying about today's advertising and our place in society.











Babies drinking cola? Surely not..









This one is my personal favourite...if you cannot read the print let me know and I will include it here ...you wouldn't believe they could get away with putting it in print....

What do you think? Does it surprise you too?

26 comments:

  1. omg...shocking isn't it? We've come a long way, maybe not far enough!

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  2. I was about the write the same thing as Christine. Thank goodness we have come a long way. But yes, we still have a ways to go yet.

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  3. I thank God for not being born around those times. I see women of previous generations and always feel blessed to have been born later.
    Although I still see people resenting smart , independent women who choose not to do house work as if they are exercising too much of liberty which they feel has roots in financial independance.

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  4. I love the VW ad. "Women are soft and gentle but women hit things. She can jab the hood, graze the door or bump off the bumper. It may make you furious but it won't make you poor. You can conveniently replace anything she uses to replace the car."

    Yeah women hit things and its lucky the person who devised this campaign wasn't hit round the head with the bumper bar off the VW. Jeez how insulting are these ads. Seriously did women and society just accept this and are we accepting stuff now that we don't really see because we live with it day in and out. It is infuriating. And most men still rule the advertising industry.

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  5. I grew up in the 1930]s, 40's and 50's,,,,,We have come a long way, but I bet there will be things that have been happening in the 70's, 80's, 90's and the 2000's that WILL shock and surprise people, 50 years fro now. Maybe, for different reasons.....!

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  6. I have a series of Taschen books called All American Ads. Each volume covers a decade from the 1900s to 1980. There are some scary stupid ads in there.

    Of course, a quick survey of today's advertising isn't any better. They've stopped with the homemaker stuff, but now it's all about half naked barely nubile models.

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  7. I have never noticed all the sexism of those ads. While I am not quite old enough to have actually read them in their own time...I used to collect vintage cookbooks that are loaded with product ads. I guess, I just glossed right over them. That Bell and Howell one is really full of double entendres. But several of the products are still in the stores so evidently the advertising didn't kill their product.

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  8. Pretty appalling, isn't it? Unbelievable condescension, chauvanism (sp?) and such a perception of women as lesser beings compared to men. And imagine - bad as that is - women were okay with it, the marketing companies appealed to them as an audience as well!

    If we are still around, it will be interesting to see what the advertisements are like in 50 years. I suspect that electronics will be doing much more than they even do today.

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  9. Oh my it really is terrible really but maybe we just get so used to it we don't see it for what it is. Discrimination. Nothing funny about it. I was not aware it was that bad.

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  10. Of course, having been born in 1941 I've seen 'em all!

    I took a fascinating college course (years after I actually attended) on women and advertising.

    Things have changed .. note I didn't say things have improved!!

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  11. I'm not at all surprised. Overt sexism, the demeaning of women, the rigid definitions of roles has become less overt but not disappeared. Currently, there are all sorts of role models and choices for women but the predominant image is still one of sexual item and primary domestic responsibility holder. Men still dominate in many of the decision-making roles in corporations and businesses and government although, again, there are strong women gaining ground. In college in the US there are more women than male students in the undergraduate arena. I'm not sure how is shakes out in graduate. There's been progress and regression at the same time. Yikes. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

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  12. Jesus. I've seen some of them, but they all make me ill. Still, sexism in ads is by no means gone. I think we still have a hell of a long way to go.

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  13. Shite, really they are so bad. But I guess if we looked at today's ads they arent far off. Seriously horrible.

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  14. It was a different time and not a good one for many. Your post timing is interesting. The US just approved combat roles for women.

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  15. The shocking thing is, few people were shocked by those ads when they came out. Hope you are well, my friend. Have you done the housework yet...?!

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  16. Yes too true. No I never have the housework finished Mike lol. When are you coming back to writing again?

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    1. Some day soon, Lilly - some day soon.

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    2. Some day soon, Lilly - some day soon.

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  17. I think it's the same here too but I am not sure what I think about it. Men and women are different and not the same. It doesn't make us less than each other though. I think there are some jobs that men are better at and maybe this is one of them. Maybe I am showing my age here. I wonder what younger people may think about this.

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    1. Bill the above comment was for you. For some reason it came out as a separate one.

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  18. I feel I should preface this with I have two daughters, both strong women, both fiercely independent and great people. But you're sort of re-discovering the wheel here; and missing something. Everyone has been used as shills and examples for ad industry. Doctors smoking, etc. The role of women has been demeaning in the past, yes. But it's just a symptom.

    Advertisements have tried to forecast the future...to predict what we would be thinking next week, next month. This was a time period when they missed, they failed. The gains of women during WW2 never reversed, they grew less quickly, yes, but it never went back to the 30's and before.

    It took awhile for the ad industry to catch on, it wasn't until the advertisements for, alas, Virginia slims came out were 'new' women featured, but after that it was the rule that the earlier way of viewing women was not relevant. Was it facile, surface only, and less-than-sincere? Yes. But the industry was catching on. Their motive was purely money, and women now working had it to spend.

    It should also be mentioned that there is also men-specific advertising......and some of it only slightly less offensive. Are you (men) feeling, um, somewhat 'inadequate'......? There are, um, 'enhancement' products for you.......

    What the real focus should be, I think, is how the commercial world it trying to stay one step ahead, and make money off of, the emerging role of women as equals.

    Every comment earlier is correct, there is far to go before we have an equal society, I'm not sure my grand daughters will live to see it. But keep your eye on the ring, and see the guy behind the curtain. When you get corporations such as GE, Exxon, etc. have a equal sex membership of their board, you're getting there. Concentrate on achieving equality in business, the military and life, that will bring the rest.

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  19. Thais so much SFM for your very interesting comment. Of course you are right, just because ads represent a certain thinking or way of life doesn't mean it was so. Advertising is a fascinating world that is for sure. Keep your eye on the ring and see the guy behind the curtain - like your style and I will remember that line. It is probably no wonder you have strong, capable daughters either. Thanks for your comment and giving me something to think about.

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  20. I don't see anything wrong with this advertising. Should I?

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  21. The thing is, I don't think we have changed much at all. Women used to be advertised as being almost like household slaves, but now we get portrayed as household sex-slaves. So, I don't think we've come far at all, just different products we're advertising. My mum is from that era and she said women back then held down jobs, raised a family, entertained etc etc, just like today, except without the big mortgages and aggressiveness in society.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Petra. It is interesting, we probably have not come that far either. Bit of a bugger really.

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  22. I have just found your blog..... love reading, and as for the ads well there is also the good wife's guide circulating the internet. http://what-adrag-itis.blogspot.sg/2012/06/good-wifes-guide-circa-1955.html

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Thanks for your comments.