Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fun With Food Advertising

Remember when advertising mattered? Before Google, Craigslist and Yelp, it was advertising that told us what to eat, what to wear, what to drive. It was a simpler time, a time when the endorsement of 4 out of 5 doctors was all the consensus we needed to make our buying decisions. Imagine how easy it was to sell ad space back in the day when advertising mattered? Selling print advertising today is like trying to sell typewriters or Polaroid cameras; there's still a market for it, but no one really needs it. Except maybe American Apparel.

At least my job not selling print advertising allows for plenty of free time to do things like search for vintage food ads on  Looking through several decades of ads is like getting a history lesson in American culture. Themes emerge through advertising that reflect the collective mindset of the society of the time. For example, the ads from the 1940's had an overall serious tone referencing patriotism, thrift, working women, and of course, the war. Moving into the 1950's advertising focused on convenience foods, children, homemaking and, for the first time in history, dieting.

What I find most entertaining about vintage food ads is how unappetizing the food looks. We have definitely come a long way in the art of food photography.

Since I don't really understand the rules for attribution, let it be known that all of the following images were found on These are actual ads that you can buy if you're into that sort of thing.

 Why ARE the Campbell kids always rosy-cheeked...

I'm guessing it's from ingesting the sodium bomb you call soup. 
Shouldn't we be asking why the Campbell Kids have sausages stuck to their faces? 

There they are again. Seriously, has she been vaccinated?

He's got other plans for that sandwich wrap. She's about to become a Total Woman

If only Gay Johnny could get his hands on a bedazzler and some sewing notions,
he would sass that outfit right up.

Only 4 cents? How much would a big bowl of blood cost in today's market? 

No matter how you serve it, red tide shrimp + salmonella = bloody diarrhea. 

He hates you

The difference? Crack

3 out of 4...what? Clowns? Poodles? Unemployed copywriters?

Meet the original Baby Boomer. Pure evil.

The Boomer's got a hatchet! Just hand over the pie and slowly walk away. 
(You can punish him later by depleting his Social Security benefits.)

Little Jeffrey Dahmer 

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  1. HiLARious. Great post - it had me laughing out loud!

  2. Thank you so much. Just to be clear, I'm allowed to make fun of baby boomers since I am one. But just barely!

  3. This is sooooo funny!! Can't wait for more!

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