12 Crazy Vintage Ads That Show A Dark Side Of History

12. When Your Husband’s Mistress Had Better Breath Than You

Advertising is at it’s most influential when it follows these three easy steps: 1) Find a problem, even if it’s a problem people didn’t know they had; 2) Exaggerate anxiety around the problem; 3) Sell them the cure. This is often referred to as ‘advertising by fear’ and during the late 1920’s/early 1930’s one of the most common anxieties women had was poor dental hygiene.
12. When Your Husband’s Mistress Had Better Breath Than You

11. When Babies All Loved A Bottle of 7UP 

The idea today that high in sugar, fizzy drinks could be promoted as a healthy option for babies is unbelievable, but in the 1970’s 7Up encouraged mothers that their product was so wonderfully pure – it was completely safe for newborns. The adverts tag line boldly declares they have “the youngest customers in the business”.
11. When Babies All Loved A Bottle of 7UP 

10. When Your Doctor Would Recommend You Smoked

If you weren’t already a smoker back in the 1940’s, then the tobacco industry was always thinking up smart new ways to turn you into one. The public were worried that, if rumours were to be believed, smoking could be damaging to your health. How did they deal with it? They pictured doctors in their adverts because, well – everyone trusts a doctor.
10. When Your Doctor Would Recommend You Smoked

9. When Only Girls Could Spread Syphilis 

The poster which was circulated during World War II was one from a large campaign warning soldiers against contracting VD. An innocent looking woman is depicted with the screaming headlines “She may look clean, but pick-ups, ‘good time’ girls, prostitutes spread syphilis and gonorrhoea.”
9. When Only Girls Could Spread Syphilis 

8. When We Were Told What Wives Are Really For

In the 1950’s advert’s used female stereotypes to sell their goods that were just preposterous. During this decade Kenwood launched their food processor which is still popular now – this image of a stay-at-home wife hasn’t stood the test of time thankfully enough.
8. When We Were Told What Wives Are Really For

7. When Buying The Wrong Coffee Would Have You Beaten 

Don’t cry over split milk and certainly don’t let a pot of coffee result in domestic violence. The advert reads, “If your husband ever finds out you’re not ‘store-testing’ for fresher coffee… if he discovers you’re still taking chances on getting flat, stale coffee… woe be unto you! For today there’s a sure and certain way to test for freshness before you buy”.
7. When Buying The Wrong Coffee Would Have You Beaten 

6. When Wrapping Babies In Cellophane Was A Cute Idea

Cellophane was first introduced to the public in 1927. Throughout the 1930s the stuff was flying off the shelves as every housewife thought it was the greatest invention ever made, which turned it into a huge money-spinner for company giant DuPont. The idea behind the product was that no more food had to be wasted as everything could now be kept fresher for longer.
6. When Wrapping Babies In Cellophane Was A Cute Idea

5. When Mother and Baby Really Needed A Beer

Never had a beer been advertised before with the tagline “obviously baby participates in it’s benefits.” Sometimes you do have to question the common sense of our ancestors and ask – did anyone actually believe such ridiculous sales copy? Did they really think a baby would benefit from malt and hops? Just to be very clear; alcohol when you are nursing a baby is not, and never will be, a good idea. No matter what the vintage beer adverts once told us.
5. When Mother and Baby Really Needed A Beer

4. When Women Didn’t Have A Clue How To Drive 

The respected and popular motoring company Volkswagen have come a long way since the time they announced, “women are soft and gentle, but they hit things.” The target market: American men who were petrified their wife would get behind the wheel of the car and cost him a fortune in repairs. In those days a new fender would you set back ‘$24.95 and labour’ so it was always good to be prepared.
4. When Women Didn’t Have A Clue How To Drive 

3. When There Were Cigarettes That Could Cure Your Asthma 

In the old days, smoking wasn’t seen as damaging to your health but as a benefit. If there were adverts everywhere with doctors recommending them – how harmful could they be? Joy’s cigarettes didn’t contain tobacco but instead an array of crushed and dried herbs including; solanaceae, datura strammonium, atropa belladonna, the hyoscyamus niger and Lobelia inflata. Sounding basically like witchcraft.
3. When There Were Cigarettes That Could Cure Your Asthma 

2. When A Bad Hair Day Would Make You Consider Suicide 

Women were convinced not to kill themselves over a bad hair day by this charming advert. They were frustrated for a lot of reasons and it’s probable that their hair style was the last thing on their minds. In another extract from the 1950’s American High School Home Economics book ‘How To Be A Good Wife, it explains how women should behave:
2. When A Bad Hair Day Would Make You Consider Suicide 

1. When Children Were Sex Objects 

Love’s Baby Soft was a product which was very popular with girls from the 1970s right through to the mid-90s. This fragrance was for young girls who didn’t want to be viewed as children anymore but were not yet old enough to become women. The limbo between leaving childhood behind and discovering their more mature identity.
1. When Children Were Sex Objects