Retro Wednesday: Sugar and TV

Retro Wednesday: Sugar and TV

I just love vintage magazine ads.  But what were those ad men on Madison Avenue thinking about when they came up with these?  The sad truth is that some of these ads probably moved a lot of product off the shelves.  Then again, Philip Morris did change their target for Marlboro cigarettes from women to men.  I guess the Marlboro Man was just a little more convincing as a spokesperson than a baby when it comes to pushing  tobacco.

Now what could be a nicer gift on Father’s Day than a carton of your favorite cancer sticks from every member of your loving family, including the dog?  I’m thinkin’ that Mom upped the life insurance policy on Dad, and she’s behind the scheme.  But to get the kids involved?  That’s too much.   Next thing you know, the kids will be sneaking out to the woods to fire up a camel non-filter or playing with lighters and accidentally setting the house on fire.

But those ads are gone now, so we can all breathe a little easier.   Unless, of course, you’re one of these twin boys pictured below, wrapped in cellophane.  Nice job on that ad Du Pont!   Might as well just give those kids lighters too so at least they can burn their way out.

We all know now not to wrap our children in cellophane, but not many of us know “For a better start in life, start cola earlier!”  Let’s all take a moment and silently thank the The Soda Pop Board of America for conducting this important research.  Just think, if I had only started drinking soda as a one-year-old, I would have been better accepted by my peers in high school… even if I weighed three hundred pounds and had no teeth left in my mouth.  I wish my mom would have seen this ad and placed me on a steady regiment of cola instead of making me drink milk every day.  Sigh!

The Soda Pop Board wasn’t the only group enlightened about the benefits of sugar.  Sugar Information Inc, threatened by those radical pushers of artificial sweeteners, was happy to let mothers know that this simple carbohydrate (sugar) would deliver 18 calories of pure energy in every teaspoon.  I don’t know about you, but I’m doin’ the Watusi over this news.  Dancing with the gang in my weekly “How the hell did I get  diabetes?” meeting.

Okay, so now the kids in the 50s and 60s are jacked up on sugar and maybe a little nicotine.  What’s a parent to do?  How about yelling out the window to your kids,  “Time to quit running around and getting exercise in the fresh air… come inside, it’s How-die Doo-die time!”  Now, if watching four hours of TV every night doesn’t improve our kids’ grades in school, nothing will!  Why have them read books when we have a new Motorola?  The great thing about emergence of TV was that parents no longer needed to rely on magazine ads to help them raise their kids.  Now we had television ads to brainwasheducate us about all the products that would improve our lives.

Let’s all admit it, advertising messages can be  powerful motivators.  If an ad can’t  persuade you to buy weapons for your kids, perhaps ads can scare you into buying their products.  Thermos must have been desperate for sales when they decided to position their product as one that may very well save the life of your  baby.  Wow.  I thank my lucky stars (I’ve always wanted to say that) that in my life, I don’t recall one story about a kid dying from a fly landing in his/her glass of milk.  Of course when I grew up as a child in the 60′s, we drank milk from a sealed carton.  Maybe in the 1920s kids drank their milk out of a trough in the backyard.  I’ll need to investigate this more and get back to you.

So there you have it…I had  to laugh at these ads and rate them all the same:  FAIL

Thirty years from now, I bet my kids will laugh at the ridiculous ads of the early 21st century.