Retrotisements

Vintage (and some not-so-vintage) advertisements from print, TV, and radio.

Retrotisements: Halloween edition

Retrotisements: Halloween edition

Advertising, Retrotisements
It'll be at least another week or two before the usual bombardment of Christmas/holiday marketing kicks in, so let's take a minute to enjoy some classic Halloween-themed advertisements.  Not surprisingly, most of the ads you'll find are very costume or candy-centric, as Halloween is most definitely seen as a children's holiday.  Of course it wasn't always that way, and even today there are many visible vestiges of the holiday's pagan roots.  But I digress... Now I don't remember getting any Cracker Jack in my bag when I went panhandling for goodies (aka 'trick or treat').  And even if I had I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had the gall to stand there and eat it right there on the person's front walk.  (Cracker Jack, 1954) Witchcraft?  No, that's just Procter & Gamble's patente
Retrotisements – Burger King ’76

Retrotisements – Burger King ’76

Retrotisements
You wouldn't know it these days, but it is in fact possible to market fast food to black Americans without acting as if they all loved either lame rap or watered down R&B; or as if they all spoke whatever the hip, urban vernacular of the day is (yes, I'm aware of just how painfully white that sentence makes me seem). And I have the proof right here, in the form of two vintage Burger King print advertisements from 1976.  There's no pandering or awkward attempts to integrate African-American culture here.  Well, perhaps a small one in the first ad (can you spot it?). Your eye may first be drawn by those groovy fashions, but I immediately took note of the old-school wood decor found in BK establishments of the time.  Sadly, that wooden sign and many like it are either rottin
Retrotisement: Encyclopædia Britannica

Retrotisement: Encyclopædia Britannica

Retrotisements
Here's a little history lesson for you young'uns.  Back before this internet thing, and way before Wikipedia, people like me used to look up stuff in these big things called encyclopedias.  They didn't list every single episode of That's So Raven or every Pokemon character, but they were generally useful nonetheless. Now I don't recall ever getting that pumped over looking up where John Quincy Adams was born*, but I don't doubt that many a young man did experience that feeling of euphoria.  And hey, you know Britannica was the bee's knees because they had that funky æ character in the title. This particular ad was published in 1994, just as the internet was poised to set new standards of speed in the research and plagiarizing of information.  So anyone lucky enough to have spent
Retrotisements: Holiday cookout edition

Retrotisements: Holiday cookout edition

Advertising, Retrotisements
For those of us in the good ol' U.S. of A, Independence Day celebration time is almost here (that's the 4th of July in case you're reading this from foreign shores).  And that means that for those of us not spending the day looking for fingers blown off by illegal fireworks, it's cookout time!  So invite your friends and family over (Except for your second cousin Fred.  Holy crap, that guy's a boor.) and let's consume some charred flesh! First things first: let's fire up the grill!  (Kingsford Match Light charcoal, 1981) Who's up for some hot diggity dogs??? (Armour Franks, 1956) Or maybe burgers are more your style?  Don't forget the ketchup/catsup! (Hunt's Tomato Catsup, 1954) I don't know about you, but cleaning all those dirty glasses can be a real drag.  So break out the p
Retrotisement – Motorola Calypso turntable

Retrotisement – Motorola Calypso turntable

Retrotisements
Due to all these record covers I've been posting lately, I've got vinyl on the brain. A recent article I caught on CNN (which I'll discuss more in depth this week) covered the mini-resurgence of vinyl as an actual music delivery format. Fancy that! So let's take a quick trip back to the days when the record was king, and ads like this one from 1957 - for the nifty Motorola Calypso turntable - were ubiquitous. It's probably too small to see in its reduced size, but the record lying on the floor in the bottom right is simply titled "Pop Music." Awesome. I'm guessing the kitchen this swingin' party is being held in is stocked full of "Soda" and "Potato Chips." And I can't help but feel bad for the girl in the blue vinyl shoes, who must be so homely that the only dancing partn...
Retrotisements: Batman 1966 Movie Posters

Retrotisements: Batman 1966 Movie Posters

Movies, Retrotisements
Despite the tragic death of Heath Ledger, the intense ad campaign for The Dark Knight continues. Most of these ads reflect the rather dark and disturbing mood the film is sure to revel in. And for many Bat-fans, this is how it should be. 1966's full-length feature movie Batman is, at its core, a pretty dark and disturbing franchise about a kid whose parents are murdered and trains for years to become a high-tech vigilante. But it wasn't always this way. Despite the gritty origins of the character, ol' Bats had become a bit watered down by about the mid-1950s. This is due to a number of factors, but chief among them was the restrictions placed on all comics by establishment of the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The height of the character's neutering came about, however, with the 1966 de
Retrotisements: Prohibition Repeal Edition

Retrotisements: Prohibition Repeal Edition

Retrotisements
Yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of the practical end of Prohibition in the United States. On that day in 1933 -- eight months before the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution -- it became legal brew and sell beer with 3.2 percent alcohol by weight (4.0 percent by volume). For reference purposes, a can of regular Budweiser is 5.0 percent alcohol by volume. To celebrate this auspicious occasion I've grabbed a sample of beer ads throughout the years. Because I know how to party. (The main site has many more vintage alcohol ads for your viewing pleasure.) Hamm's From the Land of Sky Blue Waters (Minnesota) comes this vintage TV ad for Hamm's combines a few of my favorite commercial elements -- wonderful animation and a super-catchy jingle. Sascha, th...
Retrotisement – TV Stratolounger

Retrotisement – TV Stratolounger

Retrotisements
Sure, the writer's strike is history and new shows are airing as we speak - but what of comfort? What of style? In my opinion, most modern furniture is simply not up to the task of providing optimum TV viewing enjoyment and relaxation. Enter...the TV Stratolounger with Relax-A-Vision©, circa 1960.   Honestly, does life get any better than this? Wait, don't answer that, Maverick is about to start. That James Garner is one mean sumbitch!
Retrotisement – Beverly Hills, 90210 dolls

Retrotisement – Beverly Hills, 90210 dolls

Advertising, Retrotisements
You kids can have your Webkinzes and your Dora the Explorer crap. Back in my day -- well, maybe a little past my day -- we had real toys. Why, take these Mattel Beverly Hills, 90210 dolls. No seriously, take them. Sadly, it seems this set didn't include Brian Austin Green, probably because his character hadn't completely sold his soul and driven his best friend to suicide yet, all in an effort to get with the in-crowd. Even sadder is the lack of everyone's second-favorite television restaurateur, Nat (on a side note, is Joe E. Tata not the greatest name in history?). Despite this, you have to admit this is one rad set of dolls. I'm not sure how you're supposed to play with them, however. I guess they could preen around your playroom/bedroom and ostracize your other dolls and a...