If you've seen any ads for the German travel agency Trivago, you've no doubt taken note of their oddly disheveled spokesperson, known in Internet circles simply as "Trivago Guy." While I'm supposed to be listening Trivago Guy's pitch for finding the best price on a hotel room, I'm instead transfixed by his "sad divorced dad" vibe. I find myself asking questions not about how to find the best fleabag hotel room in Terre Haute, but more important things like, "Where did this guy come from?" "What unspeakable tragedy befell him to make him show up to an ad shoot dressed this way?" But most importantly, "What the hell happened to Trivago Guy's belt?" Turns out the answer was there all along, and it can be found in The Sopranos. In the season one episode "Down Neck," we find out th
Back in February I shared a cheesecake-filled gallery of advertisements for South Carolina-based Springmaid Fabrics, most of which featured racy illustrations of women and their poorly-concealed panties. What I didn't know at the time was that two of those ads actually first appeared as front covers for Esquire magazine. It's always interesting to me to see how illustrations like this get re-purposed for things like magazines, ads, or album covers. The first piece, "Protect Yourself" by Frederick Smith, depicts a trio of comely young lasses waiting backstage at a skating show. Here is the original work: (via South Carolina State Museum) Smith's illustration was first used by Esquire for their April 1946 cover, like so... (via Esquire) ... and was picked up by Springmaid Fabr
Lexus, a perennial contender for the most annoying holiday commercials of the year, has roared back to the top of my Most Hated Christmas Commercial list in 2011 for all-time after being temporarily dethroned in 2010 by the Hyundai Hipsters. Incredibly, they've found a way to amp up the obnoxiousness even more this time by playing cutesy with their stupid "December to Remember" jingle. If you haven't seen this spot from 2011, get a barf bag handy: Look, I don't normally encourage class jealousy or class warfare, but this is just fucking ridiculous. Who exactly does this campaign appeal to, if not privileged, upper-class white people without an ounce of shame? At least this year's Acura holiday ads try to be funny. If it makes you feel any better, feel free to sing along with
Several years before classic TV specials such as A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown secured the place of Charles Schulz's beloved Peanuts characters in the hearts of millions of Americans, Charlie Brown and his friends came to life to sell cars. In 1959, Ford Motor Company secured licensing rights to the Peanuts for use in a series of color TV commercials for its cars and the intros for Ford-sponsored The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. The first spots appeared in January 1960 and marked the first time that Schulz's creation had been animated. Here's one of those early show intros: While that show left the air in June 1961, the Peanuts' association with Ford was just getting started. The gang's most high-profile (and memorable assignment) was to he
Circa 1940s, here are two fantastic cardboard cut-out advertising signs for Whistle Orange Soda. Whistle, a Vess Beverage Company product, was developed by a Vess salesman named Charles Leiper Grigg in 1919/1920. Grigg went on to invent what became 7 Up. As far as I can tell, both Vess sodas and Whistle are still being sold. Both of these signs feature the well known "Thirsty? Just Whistle" tagline. The first one in particular is just so spectacular to look at. For more auction finds, click here.
Long before the days when handy housekeeping tips were just a click or an app away, the housewives of America and Canada had to make do with decidedly more crude technology. But man was some of it ever spiffy. Case in point: the Super Homemakers' Guide volvelle (aka wheel chart), published by Super Publications in 1954. The idea is simple -- just dial up whatever you need to mend or wash, and the wheel tells all. For instance, thanks to the guide you know that when you cook cabbage you should place a dish of vinegar on the stove to remove the cabbage odor. Not sure how you get rid of the vinegar odor, as there's no slot on the volvelle for that. This was made with the intent of business buying in bulk to advertise themselves, as on this eBay listing specimen. Pretty neat, no? ...
I have to say, as vintage examples of cynical marketing aimed at kids goes, this one is a doozy. It's an advertisement for Mechanix Illustrated from America's Greatest Comics #2 (Fawcett Publications, Feb/May 1942), and features none other than Captain Marvel himself. That's right young fellas, don't even think about reading Mechanix Illustrated if you're a crummy sissy! OK, so let me provide a little bit of historical context here. Mechanix Illustrated, in case you couldn't tell, was positioned as a competitor to established magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. It was published by Fawcett, which of course owned Captain Marvel. And lest you think being thought of as a sissy by Captain Marvel wasn't a big deal in 1942, keep in mind that throughout the '40s Captain...
Long-time readers of this blog already know how much I love talking about and looking at vintage record label art. So imagine my delight when I stumbled on this ad from the May 30, 1970 issue of Billboard magazine. It's part of a tribute to French record executive Eddie Barclay, known in France as le roi du microsillon ("The King of Microgroove)." This ad is in celebration of the beginning of the third decade for the Barclay Group, founded in 1949. It shows the center ring art for the imprints his company distributed. I had to do a little cleanup, and I think the result is pretty cool. Click for a larger version. Just for reference, the labels in this ad are (from left to right in descending order) Amadeo Records, Atco Records, Atlantic Records, Barclay Records, Black and Blue Re
I just had so much gosh darn fun putting together my retrospective of fast food burger chain logos that I decided to turn it into a YouTube slideshow. Because some people just love slideshows. And as a special bonus I included audio extracts from vintage TV ads for some of the chains, like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Dairy Queen, Arby's, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Hardee's, Carl's Jr., and Checkers/Rally's. Enjoy!