Retrotisements: Father’s Day edition

When it comes to gift-giving — and that is the point of holidays, right? — Father’s Day has to rank somewhere between Groundhog’s Day and Flag Day in terms of pure lameness.  I would go so far as to say it’s the lamest holiday, at least when you weigh the importance of the day’s reason with the level of creativity employed by its celebrants.  I’m not pushing for dads to get bouquets of roses or anything, but why do Father’s Day gifts almost end up being so… utilitarian?


Van Heusen shirts, 1943

Listen, I like wearing nice clothes as much as the next guy but can we save the boring dress shirts for another day please?  Daddy was really hoping for the latest season of Ninja Warrior on DVD, but I guess this will do.  (Van Heusen, 1943)

Camel/Prince Albert, 1952

This year. why not show dad how much he means to you by giving him a carton of smokes and some Prince Albert in a can?  Because nothing says love like the gift of emphysema!  (Camel/Prince Albert, 1952)

Eversharp-Schick, 1950

Little Billy didn’t know what a “trollop secretary” was, or why mommy wanted to get back at daddy for messing around with one.  All he remembered was that after that scary Father’s Day of 1950, daddy didn’t stay late at the office anymore.  (Eversharp-Schick, 1950)

Chivas Regal, 1981

The recession of the early ’80s hit everyone hard, but especially daddy, who eventually abandoned all hopes of getting a new job and became a full-time drinker. (Chivas Regal, 1981)

Hai Karate, 1969

Hai Karate, for those not familiar with it, was pretty much marketed as the Axe Body Spray of its day, as this Father’s Day ad makes abundantly clear.  I would love to know what “Oriental Lime” smells like.  (Hai Karate, 1969)

Naugahyde, c. 1960s

Looking like something ouf of a vintage Rankin/Bass TV special, the Nauga was an advertising mascot created by UniRoyal to market their brand of synthetic leather, Naugahyde.  And this Father’s Day he’s come to both provide a comfortable seating surface for dad and to haunt your dreams.  (Naugahyde, c. 1960s)

Fruit of the Loom, 1957

I’ve always found ads for men’s underwear to be disturbing, especially the ones for tighty whities.  But really, this is unappealing on multiple levels.  Thanks for the nightmare fuel, L’il Abner.  (Fruit of the Loom, 1957)

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