Here’s Gill, continuing our long tradition of talking about commercials.
Advertising has been a big thing for many years. Sometimes the ads have been unforgettable, others have left us wondering what people were thinking. From the racist and sexist to questionable advice and the annoying, here are some campaigns you might remember or would rather forget.
- White Washed – In 1910 a soap company produced this cringy racist advertisement depicting a white child as clean and polished while the child of color was dirty and ragged looking.
- The best doctors smoke Camel cigarettes – In the 1940’s before they knew the truly horrifying effects of cigarettes the Camel cigarette company put out this ad saying that only the top doctors and surgeons smoke Camels.
- Too Delicate to camp – This comes circa 1958 as a print ad for a men’s clothing company. It shows two rugged men hiking and a weak female struggling. The tagline basically tells people to keep women indoors.
- Innocence is sexy- This is what happens when the neighborhood pervert gets the right to advertise. This ad from 1974 is creepy even by 1970’s liberal standards. It’s for a product called Baby Soft, and the neighborhood pervert is talking about how sexy innocence is. (Note from Steve: I first spotted this one about three years ago. Yes, there is a video. No, you do not want to watch it.)
- Earworm go away! earworm go away! – A few years ago a product called head-on made people want to apply their foot directly to their TV set. It became such a popular culture phenomenon that it was even mentioned in a horror movie.
- A cold bottle of progressive – In the 1940’s, wanting to capitalize on the growing black middle class, Pepsi produced an ad featuring a middle class black family with a young boy reaching for a Pepsi in an icebox.
- Fruit roll-ups and rice crispy treats – In the school district where I attended kindergarten they only did half days at the time, so I would get off the bus just in time for grilled cheese, tomato soup, and Masters of the Universe. During the shows that would be on at noon there would be ads for products kids loved. I don’t remember the lyrics to the fruit roll-up song other than “my friends and my fruit roll-ups.” There was also an ad for rice crispy treats featuring a kid in what appeared to be black pants and a green shirt.
- Taking a break – More recently there was an ad for king sized kit-kat with two guys talking. One guy asked what the other guy was doing and the other guy told him that he was taking a break. To make a long story short, the guys were basically doing nothing.
- Captain Obvious – This advertisement with a couple on a first date and the guy asking for some of the girl’s hair makes one laugh with discomfort.
- JustFab- A few years back if you happened to be scanning the networks for something interesting to watch you might have found women literally in full orgasm (shoegasm) for a website where you would pay a price to buy shoes.
- Hanging Oak beer – This is not an ad, but earlier this year a Nova Scotia Canada brewery opened a can of controversy with their new label Hanging Oak Beer. The picture on the can looked more like that of a noose used by white supremacists to lynch people of color. The brewery denied its detractors, however the controversy still stands.
Do you know of an advertisement that probably wouldn’t be allowed on air or in print in 2018? What was your favorite ad from childhood?