60's advertising was wonderful. Colors exploded and artwork often replaced photography. And how could we have lived without some of the best catch-slogans of the decade? I'd almost forgotten about things like Contac and the 600 tiny time capsules. The media in those days was so instrumental to my growing up that the ads and commercials are like old friends to me now. 50's and 60's media had a strong focus on what was to be believed as the American dream, complete with nuclear family and the perfect "Ozzie and Harriet-esque" lifestyle.
Style was the word. 60's advertising art was a world in its own. Images were friendlier, more enticing, and said so much more than the mere photography and sex that sell our products today. 60's styles in art were so convincing, so inviting, and so impacting that they became ingrained in our heads. It's funny how moms were often dressed in cocktail-type dresses, and dads with white shirt and tie and pipe in mouth.
"Good Things Happen When You Give" was the header for this 1961 message for the American Red Cross. These earlier ads were so expressive that they just drove the point home in such a way that all us either could, or wanted to identify with the imagery.
Illustration was a common tool for 60's advertising. It was probably cheaper to pay artists on staff (when there were such jobs), than it was to actually hire models and do photo shoots. In any event, the final product was so much better.
S&H Green Stamps. I grew up with these guys. They were a staple in our household. I can recall my parents getting them almost everywhere they shopped. Years later, it was Raleigh coupons from Raleigh cigarette packs that my parents saved. We actually got quite a few good things from these great stamps. I can recall going to the S&H Store off of 82nd and SE Holgate with my mom to pick out her prizes.
We used to get these catalogues in the mail too depicting all the great stuff you could get for so many books of stamps. They used to hand these stamps out everywhere. You could even get them at gas stations.
Men and women's roles in 50's and 60's advertising was predominantly male-oriented. Men were portrayed as being the perfect American male. They were virile, smiling, and dressed to the nines, and quite able to do anything with a crescent wrench. Women were pedestalled, made to appear soft and helpless, yet able to conquer the western world with the right kind of washer and dryer. Women's portrayals appeared to need the man to come to the rescue.
Although these comparisons to nowadays were rather extreme, there was again, a certain friendliness, and almost safety in the advertising. People could imagine themselves as happy as the couples in the pictures. All they needed was the new Chrysler, living room set, electric skillet, or television set being presented to them.
For those of us who can recall the days before using zip codes. 1963 was the year for the introduction of zip codes. This was a really strange idea to me as a kid, for now my fan letters to Art Linkletter had to have more info on the envelope. Not only that, but we needed to know these zip codes.
Ads like the "Dial O for Operator" were commonplace long before 9-1-1 emergency service was available.
Movies took on some strange and bold territories in the 60's. One example of such was "The Sandpiper" a film about a married priest who has a dangerous affair with a local woman artist and free soul living on the beach. It was about time that Hollywood showed humans to be flawed and with frailties.
Post Magazine described this cover as a "decline" of the American school system. The classroom painting was done purposely to illustrate how lackadaisical the teaching methods were becoming. The key notations of this are:
- the teacher doing something in a book, not paying attention to class.
- Her shoes slightly kicked off.
- One girl staring out the window.
- Girl in front row left looking very bored.
- The too-relaxed kid in the back.
Who didn't buy these Aurora Monster Dragsters? They were fun, and they were related to the original monsters only in a more comical sense. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth had really turned a corner when he designed his "Weird-ohs" series. Soon, America had "Dragster Fever" and guys like me were buying model dragsters as well as tanks, planes, ships and other great kits. I remember buying the Boothill Express dragster which was an old 1800's hearse on a drag chassis.
The Aurora Monster "Customizing" kits were a short rave too. Unfortunately, they never held my attention for very long.