Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So wrong, yet so right -- in 1959

Because I'm obsessed with all things retro (I really think I was born in the wrong decade), I came across these vintage ads a few days ago and thought I'd share:

This first one (above) is advertising "Chase & Sanborn Coffee", but it looks more like an ad about the consequences of having an affair with your gardener. Apparently if your husband ever found out that you weren't "store-testing" for fresher coffee on your weekly grocery trips back in the day...well, you'd better watch out! You may be relinquished to a firm slap on the bum just like your 4-year-old caught red-handed in the cookie jar.

This second ad is supposed to be a Mr. Leggs slacks ad, but looks like more like a living room rug advertisement with its photo and corresponding "It's Nice to Have a Girl Around the House" tagline. The faceless man with his foot on the woman's head? Seems to symbolize that the hunter has finally dominated and caught his trophy of a wife, just like the moosehead he no doubt has on the wall of his study. The smaller print is harder to read, but it says:
"Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn't have to fire a shot to floor her. After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready to have him walk all over her. ... If you want your own 'doll-to-doll' carpeting, hunt up a pair of these Mr. Leggs slacks."
I laughed out loud when I first saw these, as they are hysterical caricatures of all that 1950s male chauvinism we poke fun at. But the ironic thing is that these weren't at all un-politically correct back then -- in fact, they perfectly epitomize the gender stereotypes in the 40s, 50s and early 60s. Crazy, huh? Now they're quite laughable and even shocking, but can you imagine living in a world where these kind of ads wouldn't even elicit a second glance? That they accurately represented everyday life for men and women, husbands and wives? It seems unfathomable to me now, but this was reality not that long ago.

Wonder if the Sterling Cooper team would approve of these ads? For some reason, part of me thinks yes, especially since they mocked up this sleek and savvy Playtex ad in 1962, asking us bra-wearers whether we're Jackies by day and Marilyns by night:

'Cause you know...there are only two categories we fit into as women. Me? I'm a, actually more a Jackie. Wait, scratch that, I mean more Marilyn. But then somewhat of a Jackie. Oh you get the point. ;)


Tami said...

these are so funny...ah...

DS said...

I love looking at old ads! It's funny because I'm sure 20 years from now people will think the kinds of ads we play are "old fashioned." It's amazing that it used to be accepted that women were nothing more than sexual playthings or homemakers who needed to buy the right coffee. Crazy!

Janine / Being Brazen said...

Love those ads...

Especially the first one - So funny!!!

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