You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Yes, I’ll jump on the “OMG, they really used to PUBLISH ads like that?” bandwagon

Imagine this ad running today? I think not.

with a couple of musing on ads from the 50’s-70’s and their depiction of women. (referring to this nice round up that The Business Insider has pulled together)

Old ads from any era fascinate me. Partially because of the artwork, partially thinking about the means available to create an ad (in a pre-computer, pre-Photoshop era). But there’s also the cultural aspect that many ads depict. And here we have a not-so-long-ago era where it was perfectly acceptable refer to demeaning, beating, and berating 50% of the population. (And yes, I remember some of these ads.)

I’ll leave it to the social critics to wax about changes in mentality. What I have to wonder is what it would have been like to have actually been producing ads like this.  What it would have been like to have told oneself that “it’s just an ad. There are hundreds more just like this.” (yeah well, that’s a problem there too).  or “Lighten up! It’s funny!”  Anyone who has worked in retail or advertising eventually finds himself faced with a product that is personally cringe-worthy.  But creating a piece that ‘should’ be culturally cringeworthy and isn’t at the time…mind boggling.


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