Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


You Can't Beat the Axis if You Get VD
November 14, 2010 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Ads that would never be allowed today. Van Heusen, yikes.
posted by vytae (122 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think I had that toy machine gun. It was fun.
posted by jonmc at 10:37 AM on November 14, 2010


Yeah, pretty offensive, but I would like to own these ties.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:39 AM on November 14, 2010


Wait, it was merely an M-16, and I did have it. I drove everybody bats withe noise, but it was fun.
posted by jonmc at 10:40 AM on November 14, 2010


Ok, I laughed. Sorry.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:40 AM on November 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't think it's a question of whether they'd be "allowed" today. It's just that ad agencies have gotten marginally more subtle with their sexism.

Also, one of those appears to be the packaging for a knitting pattern, not an ad.
posted by dersins at 10:41 AM on November 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


Great, thanks.
posted by nicolin at 10:41 AM on November 14, 2010


The perfect sentiment for Thanksgiving. I've never been so grateful that I was born post-1960...
posted by madred at 10:42 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ads that would never be allowed today.
Not if Michael K had anything to say about it...
posted by emilyd22222 at 10:45 AM on November 14, 2010


More fun ads.
posted by timsteil at 10:47 AM on November 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


They were all pretty disturbing, but that innocence is is sexier than you think one is 6 ways of fucked up.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:49 AM on November 14, 2010 [15 favorites]


I, for one, am glad we've moved beyond saran-wrapping babies.
posted by jz at 10:51 AM on November 14, 2010 [13 favorites]


Pep looked like some sort of pill but apparently it was a cereal. And which came first - the cartoon or the people?
posted by episodic at 10:51 AM on November 14, 2010


Grueling reminders of the painful past. Oh, wait, this kind of psychological abuse still goes on all the time.
posted by nickyskye at 10:53 AM on November 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don't even know what's going on here. It's trying to tell a story, but what is the story? Did she not ship something? Did she pay too much for postage? Does the state of the man's tie, which looks like it could be either mangled or just badly drawn, factor into it?

The mystery really draws you in.
posted by kafziel at 10:55 AM on November 14, 2010 [23 favorites]


I have seen every one of these on the web before, and not separately. I think this site just recycles a set of images from another site, but I can't recall which one. Lilek's?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:57 AM on November 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Women are soft and gentle, but they hit things." Hm.
posted by pemberkins at 10:58 AM on November 14, 2010


Timsteil -- that link to tjs-labs is fascinating (You don't happen to be -the- tjs, do you? If so, I'd like to send you a box of Whitman's chocolates since I can't express all in words alone). There so much amazing material there -- I could spend all day just looking at random ads.
posted by autopilot at 11:01 AM on November 14, 2010


A Fowlers Vacola Kit is the ideal gift for all occasions. It appears the guy has already canned a bunch of stuff, so that's even better.
posted by zamboni at 11:06 AM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


They were all pretty disturbing, but that innocence is is sexier than you think one is 6 ways of fucked up.

Weirdly enough, I remember this one. I remember this product being very popular with girls in my class - in grade school. And I don't remember anyone having a problem with it back then, but now...*shudder*...
posted by louche mustachio at 11:06 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, semi-double, see this earlier post, which has a lot of these. Though I get the sense that one is also reusing content from somewhere else.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:07 AM on November 14, 2010



I have seen every one of these on the web before, and not separately. I think this site just recycles a set of images from another site, but I can't recall which one. Lilek's?


I received them in two sets of email over 3 years (by the only friend who still "forwards" clever things, but he's a sweet dinosaur working for the FTC so I figure they're safe to open :)
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:08 AM on November 14, 2010


Times certainly have changed. Those women are fully clothed.
posted by Xezlec at 11:09 AM on November 14, 2010 [20 favorites]


Nine out of ten Men that tried Camels preferred Women.
posted by dangerousdan at 11:19 AM on November 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


What's wrong with grillin' a few wieners, while wearing Nordic ski sweaters? Looks like a good time to me.
posted by medeine at 11:20 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am trying to figure out why killing a woman requires or is inspired by a Pitney-Bowes postage meter.
posted by Sternmeyer at 11:22 AM on November 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


OK, I laughed. Sorry.

For me, it's the second guy down. He projects a contagious amount of Slack.
posted by joechip at 11:23 AM on November 14, 2010 [25 favorites]


I remember that Loves Baby Soft ad too. I was in 7th grade and we all wore that stuff; my best friend and I actually argued about who would wear Loves Baby Soft and who would wear Loves Lemon Fresh, because, you know, god forbid that two 13 year olds in a girls' school smell the same. I ended up being the lemon girl until my younger brother pointed out that it was kind of weird to go around smelling like a giant lemon.

That ad was done right around the same time as Pretty Baby and is pretty clearly inspired directly by it. Now that's a movie that hopefully would not get made today - creepiness factor: very high indeed.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:24 AM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


So what is the non-nourishing, non-beer drink here?

And where can I buy or download a high res version for framing?
posted by paisley henosis at 11:27 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have seen these before. I even remember some of them from my youth. And this sort of memory is why I still occasionally lose my shit big style with stupid young men who bleat "Oh, why do women still whine 'sexism' in this day and age?" And man, that happens far too often. It drives me crazy that people don't see that we've come a long way but nowhere near far enough. And it would be so easy for society as a whole to fall back into this sort of casual, institutionalised sexism. The signs are everywhere. We haven't killed it yet. Which is why we still have to keep kicking the shit out of it until it stops twitching and starts to stink. Until every living generation of men had been raised in a society where this kind if crap is as unthinkable as witch-burning.
posted by Decani at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2010 [29 favorites]


In hindsight, some of these ads come off as particularly vicious social commentary. I like to view these ads through the lens of branding, where, rather than just selling cigarettes or ties, these ads are selling you the lifestyle their product will help you attain.

Schlitz seems to be the perfect malt liquor to drown out my marital discord. Fuck it, let's just have Schlitz for dinner.

And sometimes, I'm just about to let my little piece-of-shit baby have it, but then I take a couple drags from a smooth Marlboro, and I'm like, "Naw, that's cool, baby. I'm chill."
posted by fryman at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Times certainly have changed. Those women are fully clothed.

Yeah, I don't think ads now are any less sexist. It's just that it's expressed differently and isn't always so jarring to the modern eye. A google image search for "sexist beer ads," for example, returns a seemingly limitless number of modern ads that are just as bad as the old ones, though very differently executed.
posted by Forktine at 11:36 AM on November 14, 2010


So what's going on in this one?
posted by Sailormom at 11:36 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hell, half of today's advertising looks just like this stuff.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:37 AM on November 14, 2010


Decani, its still pretty bad in Singapore and hits me between the eyes whenever I visit the 'rents and see "bust firming creme" ads splashed across the national newspaper. (with pictures of said firm busts ;p)
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:42 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


We had values back then! Knock the ads if you will, but we did not have two wars at one time...we spaced them out life wives: one at a time. And we did not have the deficit we have now.
And if you bought a car it was made in America by Americans and lasted sometimes a full year.
But these ads are (alas) not kind to women. But back then, we also had ads like this

http://clutchmagonline.com/newsgossipinfo/five-black-ads-that-drive-us-nuts/
ads that made black Americans angry
posted by Postroad at 11:42 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not really following with the sexism ones... Mom/Wife is still the one that makes dinner and cleans those stubborn stains off the floor in advertising. So maybe she's not getting spanked anymore... but that's about the only difference.

Also with regards to the breastfeeding/beer picture... Beer actually works wonders to increase milk supply because of the brewer's yeast. When I'm feeling a bit low on milk, a beer absolutely engorges me, where my milk supply is normally stable enough to prevent engorgement. It's not like I go out and buy a 6 pack!
posted by sunshinesky at 11:43 AM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Times certainly have changed. Those women are fully clothed.

So, you didn't make it past the first couple pages then?
posted by enn at 11:45 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Vintage advertising from India. Kamat tends towards patriotism, unity in diversity and busty women while Cutting the Chai seems to have uploaded teh whole book in 9 parts
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:49 AM on November 14, 2010


So what's going on in this one?
Apparently they threw the baby out with the bathwater. Why that would make me want to buy their soap is mystifying, but it is eye-catching.

Drinking a beer while breastfeeding is still a popular folk remedy, especially when mom is anxious about breastfeeding or is having trouble relaxing enough to "let down".

I still use it myself whenever I start feeling anxious about breastfeeding. Sure, I haven't breastfed anybody in years, but whenever I start to feel anxious about it, the beer really helps.

I think I'm starting to feel anxious RIGHT NOW!
posted by jeoc at 11:49 AM on November 14, 2010 [21 favorites]


Wow, google has an image search function now. And did you know if you right-click on most images you can save them and put them on your own web site? Awesome!
posted by koeselitz at 11:50 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


So what's going on in this one?

Dunno for sure but I recall Pear's big thing was they were the first, and for a long time the only translucent (glycerine) soap on the market so maybe the ad is saying that using Pear's would prevent the bathwater from becoming so cloudy that you forgot you had an infant in there and yah, going and doing the dumbass thing of tossing the baby out with the bathwater.
posted by jamaro at 11:53 AM on November 14, 2010


Yeah, I don't think ads now are any less sexist.

I think it depends on your definition of "sexist". They seem more blatant about using women as sex objects, but less so about portraying women as powerless and idiotic. That particular change may not be ideal, but at least it has made it possible for women to gain some ground in the workplace. Saying that there has been no progress at all is an overstatement.
posted by Xezlec at 11:56 AM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope I'm not going too off-topic, but if any goddamned useless braindead idiot gave me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas, topped off with a jaunty bow, I'd brain 'em with it.

Although the sausage impaled by a skewer is strangely tempting...
posted by malibustacey9999 at 12:01 PM on November 14, 2010


The guy in the "I'm hanging out smoking my pipe with my naked ladyfriend and babyfriend" ad looks remarkably like Jemaine Clement.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:05 PM on November 14, 2010


How many decades do you think it will be before there's a Swiffer commercial that shows a guy cleaning?
posted by snofoam at 12:07 PM on November 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


Those M-16 were loud. My dad's fire department had big Santa Claus parties back in the 60's and my main memory us that ALL us boys got an M-16. I think there were about 50 of us tearing around a Legion Hall with them. Moms were not pleased.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:07 PM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Although the sausage impaled by a skewer is strangely tempting...

That's because it plays up to feminist ideology - everybody knows that women at barbecues are responsible for the rice salad with corn & pineapple, while the men char all the meat.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:13 PM on November 14, 2010


They were all pretty disturbing, but that innocence is is sexier than you think one is 6 ways of fucked up.

Like mygothlaundry, I remember this one from my adolescence too. I also remember protests against it, and the general reactions of "what's the problem? It's edgy" and the classic "it succeeded because we're all talking about it". Along with Pretty Baby, Jodie Foster's role in Taxi Driver probably played a part in that cultural moment, as well.
posted by jokeefe at 12:14 PM on November 14, 2010


How many decades do you think it will be before there's a Swiffer commercial that shows a guy cleaning?

This struck me the other day when I went down to the household store for a new broom (yes, ha ha) and all the cleaning equipment packaging had men on them. I was like, yeah, wow, I believe it when they say they're ahead in these matters.
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:15 PM on November 14, 2010


Looking at these made me realize how little spanking I generally see now-a-days. Just not hanging around in the right clubs, I guess.
posted by ServSci at 12:18 PM on November 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I already have one but I would have loved to get a Dyson for Christmas. Some of us LIKE practical gifts!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:22 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Explanation of the Pitney-Bowes ad: she missed the post, but if she had a postage meter that stamped AND sealed, she would have made it. Because it takes so long to lick an envelope.

snofoam: First Swiffer ad I ever saw was guys in an Army barracks Swiffering. There've been others. See this thread from 2003.
posted by CCBC at 12:32 PM on November 14, 2010


They missed the one on how to deal with your bratty kid. And who could forget the Lysol douche ads? Ouchies.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:50 PM on November 14, 2010


Today, I learned that summer is the season of extra smoking.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 1:15 PM on November 14, 2010


The following is a ramble. Please feel free to ignore it...

You know what? I'm not convinced the small white kids asking the small black kids why they don't wash is as racist as first appears. It's very strange for an advert, but maybe not that racist...

The reason I say this is simple... My grandmother had Altzheimers. When she was a girl, 'coloureds' were rare. To the extent that my grandfather remembered stopping and staring when he first saw a black man. In the middle of London.

Not long before she died, I had the horror of sitting in a hospital waiting room with her when a black guy walked in and sat next to her. She turned to me and stage whispered "That man hasn't washed his face!"

So... it's a fucking weird thing to put in an advert, but without more context, I'd say it was more of a "kids do the darnest things" than "aren't racist kids funny".

posted by sodium lights the horizon at 1:22 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tipalet man is about to have that fucking thing put out on his eyeball.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:22 PM on November 14, 2010


The chlorinol one is just plain offensive though...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 1:23 PM on November 14, 2010


Ugh. This VW ad is not only "LOL lady drivers" but also seems to have a strong subtext of "see what happens when you get all mouthy" what with the imagery reminiscent of a black eye.
posted by sourwookie at 1:25 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now we know why Mad Men smoke and drink so much etc
posted by The Lady is a designer at 1:29 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


PareidoliaticBoy: Today, I learned that summer is the season of extra smoking.

Because there are two kinds of seasons: the smoking seasons, and the EXTRA smoking seasons.
posted by paisley henosis at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


While I'm here though, I just remembered this little delight that I have hanging in the study...
WHAT WOMEN LIKE ABOUT THE ROVER 2000 AUTOMATIC

We cannot say that we designed the Rover exclusively for ladies any more than we designed it exclusively for gentlemen. But the fact is ladies like it. Admittedly, some of the things they see in the Rover may seem trivial to menfolk, but to ladies little things mean a lot.

Opening and closing
Long fingernailed ladies need not worry about breaking their nails when they open the door - the push buttons on the doors are twice as long as normal.

Stepping in and stepping out
No big deal really. It's just simpler because the floor is four inches below the door sill and the doors open w-i-d-e.

Room - with a view
Once seated, there is a great amount of room for leggy legs. A lot of headroom, too. The view from all windows is excellent and uninterrupted. A lady can see exactly where the right fender is without having to guess.

Seating arrangements
The two front bucket seats can be adjusted to the contours of any female shape. They go forwards and backwards, adjust from English upright to chaise longue. Although all four seats tend to hug their occupants, we suspect that ladies really love them because of the smell and feel of English Leather.

Big Wheel
The steering wheel is larger than is usual, which makes it easy to turn and ladies like that. It can be moved up or down. When the car is still, the steering is a little stiff, just stiff enough to remind the driver to look behind before pulling into traffic.

Shifting and handling
Some ladies don't like shifting and with the Rover automatic transmission, they don't have to. And, if they want to - well then, it can be just as manual as they please. The car handles effortlessly, holds the road like a leech. It's a snap to park - not just because it's shorter and narrower than Detroit's finest bit also because it turns circles inside them and most other cars. Yes, even a VW.

Bric a brac
Two huge padded bins beneath the dashboard can hold an arsenal of cosmetics and packages. Even jumbo purses. Both bins lock. Above them is a generous shelf with a clingy rubber surface that stops things like earrings and sunglasses from sliding around.

Easy to read
The speedometer is the ribbon type, unmistakably clear to read and placed so as to reduce the difficulty of refocussing when glancing from road to speedo and back. The switched are clearly marked and shaped so you can recognise them, even by feel. No two next to each other are shaped alike. A bold red brake light on the dash tells a lady: (1) the handbrake is on or (2) the level of the braking fluid is low. High beams can be flashed, with headlights on or off, by flicking a lever on the steering column.

The quiet type
The Rover is quiet inside save for the engine's reassuring purr. Thick wall to wall carpeting absorbs lots of noise. There is, however, a loud built in sound which ladies with children appreciate - the loud click behind the driver's ear when someone unlocks a rear door from inside. The trunk is doubly carpeted, and the spare wheel has a cover to keep the luggage clean.

Out of gas?
Nothing to worry her pretty head. A reserve fuel tank switch on the dash gives her an extra thirty miles or so to find a gas station.

About those dents
Say someone biffs the Rover in a parking lot, what then? It's a relatively simple garage task to remove the dented panel and replace it - Rover's nineteen body panels are simply bolted on. It's even possible, at some expense, to get a spare set of panels in another color.

Know more.
If you want to know more about the Rover 2000 Automatic ask your Rover dealer or write: British Leyland Motors Inc, Willow Tree Road, Leonia, NJ 07605. (We'll even tell you what men like about it.)
All that was in a magazine page. With a photo of the car. And a bold headline...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 1:50 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


How many decades do you think it will be before there's a Swiffer commercial that shows a guy cleaning?

They do have these, but the point is that they're tanned beefcake men who are obviously cleaning to appeal to the ladies; it's all with a wink and a nod. You don't see ordinary schlubs addressing their household needs with the Swiffers, the way you would if they were angling the ad towards guys. It wasn't long ago that I was reading a snarky article about this, possibly on Jezebel, possibly here.

I adore the flat wrongness of the Christmas cigarette ads and wish they'd be made into Christmas cards or gift wrap.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:50 PM on November 14, 2010


Yes, thank goodness we're past that sort of thing these days!
posted by scody at 2:02 PM on November 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Thorazine ad was by far the "best" and by "best" I mean "gave my subconscious fresh fodder for my nightmares."
posted by sonika at 2:03 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


*splutters* at scody's link
posted by The Lady is a designer at 2:06 PM on November 14, 2010


They missed the one on how to deal with your bratty kid.

I don't see anything wrong with that one, the moral of the story was that child abuse doesn't work, all you need is a better tasting laxative instead.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:10 PM on November 14, 2010


*splutters* at scody's link

Let's remember - she may LOOK clean, but you can't beat the Axis if you get VD.
posted by jeoc at 2:10 PM on November 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


Some of these were previously in this post, too. Found it by searching for the dangers of Mornidine (pipamazine).
posted by limeonaire at 2:15 PM on November 14, 2010


I kind of like that BMW ad, again, sorry for my taste in advertising. It is somewhat clever, though yeah, sexist I know can't deny it.

The worst ads right now are the Miller Lite ads that basically can all be summed up as, "If you don't drink Miller Lite you are a girly man."

First off, I may have bad taste in advertising but I'm also not the homophobic type and there is a lot of inherent offensiveness in saying there is anything wrong with being a girly man if that is your thing.

Also, light beer is a pretty damn wimpy beer choice. Real beer drinkers of either gender will gravitate more towards true Pilsners with a huge hoppy bite, dark stouts, or complex IPAs. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with light beer, but putting it on a spectrum of traditional definitions of manly beer choices, it doesn't compare. If this kind of thing can work, the Prius needs to start running the same kind of ads so Neanderthal SUV drivers switch to the hybrid so the hot girl at the used car place doesn't question their manhood.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:19 PM on November 14, 2010


you can't beat the Axis if you get VD.

Yeah, whatever. I'm off to, er, "pummel the hun".
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:20 PM on November 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hmm, yep, Marlboro was originally marketed as a cigarette for women.


From Wikipedia: Philip Morris launched the Marlboro brand in 1924 as a woman's cigarette, based on the slogan "Mild As May". In the 1920s, advertising for the cigarette was primarily based around how ladylike the cigarette was. To this end, the filter had a printed red band around it to hide lipstick stains, calling it "Beauty Tips to Keep the Paper from Your Lips".

Given how hyper-macho Marlboro has wanted to be throughout my life (edging perilously toward being the cigarette for gay men), I'm surprised to learn this.
posted by Naberius at 2:21 PM on November 14, 2010


. . . the moral of the story was that child abuse doesn't work, all you need is a better tasting laxative instead.

It seems like there were a lot more laxative and fiber ads before 1990 or so, and I've read a lot of periodicals, not just collections of ads. I believe the commonality of such ads is heavily correlated with the popularity of the typical Anglo-American diet of white flour baked goods, boiled vegetables and cooked fruits, fats and proteins with very light spicing. With the advent of new ideas about nutrition, including raw foods and roughage, the increasing focus on coffee-drinking, plus the easy availability of ethnic foods with strong spices and peppers, our perceived national need for laxatives went way down, as did the advertising, which is now aimed only towards aging women or the elderly. That is my theory which is mine.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:21 PM on November 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


The most awesome part of those ads is the fact that the Kent 'micronite' filters were made from asbestos.
posted by HFSH at 2:26 PM on November 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


The best Thorazine ad:

For Prompt Control of the Agitated, Belligerent Senile

Available in tablet, syrup, and suppository forms.

I've had enough, Grandpa's going DOWN this time.
posted by chambers at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


Interesting comments on old-timey ads' focus on digestion from a related post.
posted by djb at 3:04 PM on November 14, 2010


In third or fourth grade, I would walk around the block with one of these, a pair of sunglasses and a candy cigarette in my mouth. During those moments, I was the baddest motherfucker in all of Brooklyn.
posted by griphus at 3:04 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


It appears the guy has already canned a bunch of stuff, so that's even better.

Eh, I'm guessing it's all goblin and newt.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:20 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grandpa's going down is hilarious, but just doesn't have that OH HOLY SHIT quality of the eyeball being held open.

(That is one of the weirdest sentences I have ever written.)
posted by sonika at 3:31 PM on November 14, 2010


They missed the one on how to deal with your bratty kid.

I don't see anything wrong with that one, the moral of the story was that child abuse doesn't work, all you need is a better tasting laxative instead.


So, forget about timeouts, corporal punishment, etc., and just give the screaming brat a yummier laxative? Heck, if you just want to calm them down so they'll take their medicine, why not give 'em a beer and a shot first? I just found it interesting that an alternative to bad tasting medicine somehow became the solution to being derided as a "bad mommy" because you can't control your kid.
posted by fuse theorem at 3:54 PM on November 14, 2010


the classic "it succeeded because we're all talking about it"

You don't think that's a legitimate POV? Plenty cynical, but you don't think that didn't run through the admen's minds? Not snarking, genuinely curious. You make it sound as if it's just crazy or silly talk.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:14 PM on November 14, 2010


The Thorazine eyeball ad is probably from a medical industry trade journal, not some random consumer mag. There are still plenty of ads along those lines (perhaps not quite as graphic, and probably not saying "this patient must not vomit!" on them) in medical journals today. I don't recommend flipping through a wound management journal if you're squeamish.
posted by me3dia at 4:19 PM on November 14, 2010


I was really surprised by my reaction to the ads depicting spanking. Because the only context I can imagine in which a grown man spanks a grown woman is sexual, these ads struck me as way more sexual than any modern beer ad.

At this point, I think that depicting a spanking in an ad would be on about the level of depicting a blowjob.

[Please note: I realize that, in temporal context, this was not the intended reading. I'm just noting how it struck me, now, in 2010.]
posted by Netzapper at 4:22 PM on November 14, 2010


No one's said anything about it, but the pig one freaked me right out.
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:24 PM on November 14, 2010


They do have these, but the point is that they're tanned beefcake men who are obviously cleaning to appeal to the ladies; it's all with a wink and a nod.

Really? The way I remember the ad with the soldiers, it was like they turned off the camera just the narrowest instant before they had started tearing each others' clothes off.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:42 PM on November 14, 2010


If I look at those ads and immediately think "ok, softcore gay fetish porn", does that mean I'm gay?

- Worried In Chicago
posted by facetious at 4:52 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


So many of the ads are demeaning beyond belief; essentially that if you buy your wife a gadget it will keep her in her place. If not you can always spank her.

I was born in the 60s but I thank God that my father raised me to be self-reliant (I learned to do my own cooking and cleaning at a very young age) and didn't treat his wife as chattel.
posted by bwg at 4:56 PM on November 14, 2010


These ads are selling me more on the concept of sexism than they are making me want to purchase their products.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 5:03 PM on November 14, 2010


t seems like there were a lot more laxative and fiber ads before 1990 or so, and I've read a lot of periodicals, not just collections of ads. I believe the commonality of such ads is heavily correlated with the popularity of the typical Anglo-American diet of white flour baked goods, boiled vegetables and cooked fruits, fats and proteins with very light spicing. With the advent of new ideas about nutrition, including raw foods and roughage, the increasing focus on coffee-drinking, plus the easy availability of ethnic foods with strong spices and peppers, our perceived national need for laxatives went way down, as did the advertising, which is now aimed only towards aging women or the elderly. That is my theory which is mine.

Now that you mention it, they had tons of ads for laxatives back when I was a kid (I was born in the late 50's) and hardly any now. Your theory is intriguing....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:36 PM on November 14, 2010


How many decades do you think it will be before there's a Swiffer commercial that shows a guy cleaning?

Now the stereotype in ads and on popular sitcoms is the stupid husband/boyfriend who can't do a basic thing and needs his wife/gf to explain to him how it works. "Oh, the vacuum plugs into the wall! Doh!" The modern Simpsons-ization of men/war on boys, to me, is much more concerning than 30-60 year old ads showing sexist cliches.

That said, I think one of the best purchases I made recently was a new vacuum. I got some Dyson knock-off that absolutely blows away my old 1990s beater. As far as I can tell the marketing of this thing was almost strictly focused on men. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with enjoying a nice vaccum cleaner. Not everything is a sexist conspiracy out to get you.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:13 PM on November 14, 2010


The font in the logo on old (like, ~30-50 years, maybe even 15-25?) Drummond Scientific equipment looks a lot like the logo font in the Drummond Sweaters ad?!

--

What's more disturbing; the Mattel M-16 toy (or, heck, airsoft toys) or the modern spooginator Oozinator?
posted by porpoise at 6:25 PM on November 14, 2010


In third or fourth grade, I would walk around the block with one of these

Metafilter:BRAAP BRRA-A-A-AP BRAP BRAP
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:40 PM on November 14, 2010


You know, a vacuum cleaner is a pretty good present when the only other option society presents you with is cleaning the carpet without one.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:30 PM on November 14, 2010


Maybe not such a bad idea (wink, wink)
posted by ~Sushma~ at 7:49 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


At this point, I think that depicting a spanking in an ad would be on about the level of depicting a blowjob.

Well, and a lot of those ads looked to me like they were depicting the prelude to a blowjob, foot rub, or other sexual act, albeit stylistically rather than literally. Why else are so many of the women on the floor?

Of course, women are on the floor a lot in present-day ads, too—for instance, see this scan of part of a Bank of America ad. I think the woman portrayed is supposed to look casual, carefree, and spontaneous, checking her online banking from the comfort of her own floor (Look at that! She can really check her online banking anywhere!), but to me, it looks like they threw her in a padded cell with nothing but her bank account to keep her company. Poor woman!

Also, that angle must be hell on her wrists. Why are all of these stock-photography women still ignoring the looming specter of repetitive stress injury?
posted by limeonaire at 7:57 PM on November 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, and don't get me started on the trope of women putting something in their mouths. These are stock photos, of course, but you see it a lot in ads (which is where many of those photos end up). I guess, as Devo seems to have noted, that's Something for Everybody.
posted by limeonaire at 8:07 PM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh wow. And I just saw this link to yet another example of retro institutionalized female subjugation—by birds.
posted by limeonaire at 8:23 PM on November 14, 2010


Haha, what google string did you even use to find all of those? I think the lesson is the number one present for modern day women should be a desk. I mean, the meme crosses cultures?

I'm not sure if the women putting stuff in mouth imagery is entirely going for the sexual imagery or just taking advantage of the fact that women tend to have much better looking mouths. A food product always looks better when the mouth it is entering has lipstick? If you were selling gum in an ad, would you have it enter a nice lickstipped attractive mouth or a stubble filled chapped wasteland?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:25 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]



Oh wow. And I just saw this link to yet another example of retro institutionalized female subjugation—by birds.


This will be the best $60 I ever spent.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:27 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


lick=lip.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:28 PM on November 14, 2010


Haha, what google string did you even use to find all of those?

Heh. Googling woman on laptop floor and Google Image Searching woman putting something in her mouth. And yes, seriously, what is with the lack of proper furniture in these women's lives? Some of them look like hostages straight out of 24...
posted by limeonaire at 8:36 PM on November 14, 2010


I guess it is a result of the "women can't be computer nerds" type thinking expanding out to ridiculous dimensions. A female computer user will never be at a desk in a dark basement like male nerds.

Advertising has to catch up with reality. I know women who sit at a desk in front of a boring beige computer box, lots of them. They do it for work just like the men, or they do it for raiding WoW or killing people in an FPS just like men.

On the other hand, I guess just the lipstick thing for food products there isn't a glamorous image for playing WoW no matter what gender is involved. Men on laptop floor is a pretty expansive stock photography genre as well.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:43 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


*just like. I am full of typos tonight.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:43 PM on November 14, 2010


Until every living generation of men had been raised in a society where this kind if crap is as unthinkable as witch-burning.

No, wishing for unthinkability is retrogressive. You think that by fighting a war against one (sexist) orthodoxy, and for another orthodoxy, you're building a better world? That's the arrogance of believing that one has the right ideas. And why should anyone believe you? If you really disagree with a way of thinking, it's the your continued duty to participate in rational moralizing discourse.

The barest intellectual humility is the recognition that other people are not blessed with the experiences that lead to identical conclusions and so you have the opportunity to charitably guide them. On the other hand, approaching others with a blind presumption of correctness is stupid and unconvincing.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 9:00 PM on November 14, 2010


Overreaction.

Just trying to say that rooting for unthinkability isn't a good dream.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 9:02 PM on November 14, 2010


seriously, what is with the lack of proper furniture in these women's lives?

The same phenomenon can be seen in banner ads for "Meet single women online NOW", except that single women apparently prefer to do their websurfing in little knicker-and-singlet combinations, usually on their beds.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:34 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


single women apparently prefer to do their websurfing in little knicker-and-singlet combinations, usually on their beds

I always find these so aggravating - don't these women realize you are not supposed to rest a laptop on a soft surface like a bed? You may be blocking the air vents!
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:53 PM on November 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Eh, I'm guessing it's all goblin and newt.

'This smells like it could be something very dangerous!'
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:54 PM on November 14, 2010


you're a kitty!: No one's said anything about it, but the pig one freaked me right out

Really? It made me hungry. So then I ate some meat.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:07 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one's said anything about it, but the pig one freaked me right out

"I'll just nip off and shoot myself. Don't worry, I'll be very humane."
posted by XMLicious at 12:39 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you like this, the Gypsy Creams blog is equally fun. The print ads for 'nerve tonic' are most interesting.

I'm a TV advertising clearance person, and when I see US ads, it's really distracting as I think 'we wouldn't allow that here' or 'Oh, so that's why Big Agency X suggested we can have Treatment Y with Disclaimer Z - because they use it over there.' The interesting thing, though, is while we screen for offence to an extent - we are quite flexible unless it's likely to cause widespread offence - Swedish regulators come down very hard on the use of sexual stereotypes. You wouldn't get a half-naked woman appearing incidentally in an ad the way you might do in the US.

I think many agencies realise that women have more purchasing power than they once did, and in the case of household products and FMCG, it is women who will be making the decisions on what to buy. Even Lord Sugar, a traditionalist, is waking up to that.
posted by mippy at 4:44 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Also: I would be very happy if someone bought me a sewing machine for a present. Those things are EXPENSIVE.)
posted by mippy at 4:46 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a pretty sizable collection of vintage Schlitz Beer magazine advertisements. That image has been cropped and edited. The original "Didn't burn the beer" Schlitz ad looks like this. Schlitz ads almost always were in full-page magazine format.
posted by peeedro at 7:11 AM on November 15, 2010


Really? It made me hungry. So then I ate some meat.

Good for you!
posted by John Cohen at 7:11 AM on November 15, 2010


We cannot say that we designed the Rover exclusively for ladies any more than we designed it exclusively for gentlemen.

Well, there's always the F-series Canyonero!
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:37 AM on November 15, 2010


Sorry. I forgot the F-series link.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:39 AM on November 15, 2010


They didn't even hit the tip of the iceberg on the racist ad front.
posted by djduckie at 12:07 PM on November 15, 2010


The original "Didn't burn the beer" Schlitz ad looks like this.

You know something that surprised me first time I saw this ad was that there were two glasses on the table, implying both husband and wife would be drinking beer. Maybe it was the "OMFG they were so sexist in the Olden Dayz!!1!" rubric the ad appeared under, but I guess I would have expected only the man to be drinking the beer.
posted by aught at 1:49 PM on November 15, 2010


No one's said anything about it, but the pig one freaked me right out

Then you certainly should not read this blog.
posted by zamboni at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2010


but I guess I would have expected only the man to be drinking the beer.

Advertising changes with the times:

Ads from the late 40's are all about the man being served his beer of choice.

The focus of Schlitz ads in the early and mid 50's was all about couples enjoying Schlitz together with friends and family.

My personal favorite is the dudes helping dudes three-panel discovery theme that ran between those two trends.
posted by peeedro at 11:36 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am probably a horrible person, but I lost it with the smoking ad that said "Blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere." I mean . . . wow.
posted by Skot at 12:29 PM on November 16, 2010


the dudes helping dudes three-panel discovery theme

Woah. I wonder if the subtext was as obvious then as it seems now?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:45 PM on November 16, 2010


Woah. I wonder if the subtext was as obvious then as it seems now?

Furries, decades ahead of their time. Hey, I was curious... And that is the most hetero-normal of the group.

You can see the rest here (scroll down starting at 1948-3 going through 1950-10).
posted by peeedro at 1:31 PM on November 16, 2010


« Older Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of r...  |  Facebook needs a facelift.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments