It seems inconceivable now, but until about the mid-1960s it was quite common to see celebrities hawking cigarettes like it was no big deal. In fact, many radio, TV, and movie stars literally owed their livelihood to sponsorship from tobacco companies. Imagine seeing someone like George Clooney or Angelina Jolie smiling widely in cigarette ads exhorting you to pick up a carton of Marlboro. Weird, isn't it? Anyway, here's a gallery of 20 such ads from the 1930s through the early 1960s featuring movie and TV stars, as well as famous athletes, using their star power to get you to buy cigarettes and cigars. Most of these ads are courtesy the Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising site.
From St. Louis in May 1910 comes a scene you won't see much of anymore. The photo description from the Library of Congress reads as follow: "A Pool Room Branch (Chouteau & Manchester). These boys were playing pool and smoking in the pool room while waiting for papers. The smallest boy is 9 years old and sells until 9 P.M." Click for a larger version. Photo credit to Lewis Wickes Hine. For another shot from the same session, check out this Shorpy page. I love the smirk on the dapper gentleman standing in the doorway. His face pretty much says, "Yeah, I'm watching these young kids smoke, what of it? As long as I get my paper on time I'm fine and dandy."
Hang around the internet long enough and you'll stumble across one of the classic TV commercials for Winston cigarettes, starring the Flintstones. Those spots from the early '60s are practically advertising legend at this point. If you haven't seen them, click on the link above and prepare to be amazed. Well if you thought that was cool -- or even if you didn't -- then you'll really enjoy this find. It's an original production animation cel from the second spot in that clip; a closeup of Fred Flintstone sparking a Winston and loving every second of it. Oddly enough, the animation is in glorious color while the cigarette appears to be a black and white photograph. Now that's responsible marketing!
We return to New Jersey for this week's vintage photograph, specifically Franklin Township. This shot, taken in February 1936, depicts a woman in front of a small grocery store/delicatessen. She's either fixing a tattered awning or taking it down, I can't be sure which. This is from the days before big supermarkets were a common sight. A few brand names figure prominently in this scene -- Coca-Cola and White Rose Tea. Everyone knows Coca-Cola of course, but fewer know about White Rose. It is a rather large independent wholesale food distributor in the New York/New Jersey metro area and has been in operation since the late 19th century. They got into the tea business in the early 1900s. Below the display window it's all about tobacco. I see a sign for Granger Rough Cut (pipe tobac
I don't really pay much attention to billboard advertisements while I'm driving, unless it's something fairly snappy or unique. And as much as I'd like to romanticize old billboard ads, I think the medium as a whole has been fairly bereft of great ideas. And if you think about it, it makes sense. You're only going to see a billboard ad clearly for what, four or five seconds? So it's all about economy of ideas and design. Anything too complicated and you either lose a driver's interest or cause a 20-car pileup. Neither is good for business. I'm not holding this group of classic billboard ads up as the best ever, but I think you'll enjoy them nonetheless. These are all courtesy the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections advertising series. I can't decide which part of...
Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, I think we can all agree that it's worth celebrating some vintage advertisements. So I've pulled together a full menu of classic food ads for your dining and/or viewing pleasure. And as always, more Thanksgiving ads await you on the main site. Side Dishes (more…)
It's been many a year since I plumbed the advertising archives here at GFS HQ for some spooky retro classics, but that's not to say I haven't been busy since then. Why, there are all manner of neat Halloween ads up on the main site, just waiting to be enjoyed. But for your convenience, here are a few of my newer finds. For more Retrotisements, click the tag below or check out the permanent collection on the main site. You can't go wrong either way! And keep your eyes on this channel as the Countdown to Halloween 2012 continues!
(Klompen Kloggen pipe tobacco, 1965)
What's this, another post with cigarette ads? Why yes it is, thanks for asking! Actually there is a bigger reason why I'm posting this -- the latest addition to my Ephemera project is now up. It highlights the wonderful merchandise and retro styling found in the 1968 Raleigh/BelAir cigarette coupon catalog. New sections will be published as quickly as I can scan them, so check back here (or on my Facebook page) for updates. We've got four late 1960s ads in this clip, featuring a pair of Brown & Williamson brands -- Raleigh and BelAir. The first two ads showcase the kind of natural, easygoing dialogue seen in dozens of commercials like them. The first BelAir spot was filmed in Palm Springs, California on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Since they're pushing a menthol brand, t...