This article was originally published on tv-bee and has been republished here with permission.There's a whole lotta advertisement out there, but none are better than the vintage ones. And we mean that in a most sarcastic way. These highly entertaining, yet profoundly uncomfortable ads depict an era of times past. An age that many wish to revisit, but forget the incredible amount of sexist, racist, and homophobic basically everything. But a look back can be very educational as well as mildly funny, though you might just be laughing at the awkwardness of it all. So, if you're ready, let's get on with the vintage gold.
Love's Baby Soft
Though innocent in appearance, when you read the words you realize just how creepy this ad is. Although it's an advertisement for body mist, anything that puts a child and the word sexy is a nono.
As adorable as the girl in this ad is, we can't help but feel majorly uncomfortable. That being said, this ad might be one of the most appealing if it just said body mist. We can just feel the softness of that teddy bear, and wish we could smell it ourselves.
Keep Your Face On Longer
This one's a bit more innocent, as it's really just advertising a spray that helps your makeup stay. The thing about this one, however, is its choice use of words. It's just a tad below body positivity standards.
While some might still say "I need to go put my face on", it's a bit problematic to imply that using makeup is someone's face. It might be your choice to say something like that, but companies try to avoid implying you only look good in makeup.
She Was A "Perfect Wife"...
What defines a "perfect wife" these days? Is it her cooking skills, her beauty, or is it her willingness to submit to her man? Fortunately, that's not the way we try to think about it these days. At least, most of us don't.
Most might be able to give you an answer to that question, but the answers you'll receive are on more of a "what do you look for in a partner" type of way. Objectifying women and saying "the perfect wife" is not okay. Rather, try to look for what makes them the perfect friend.
Suppose You Switch Jobs With Your Husband
We'd all be in a world of hurt, that's for sure. Not a lot of people share the same skillset as their partners, but that's beside the point. Can you guess what this ad is for? It's for a telephone, but you wouldn't know that until the last sentence.
What is up with vintage ads and writing essays anyways? The entirety of this advertisement has no point other than to downplay the importance of a women (and to tell her she needs a new toy to talk to a friend while doing kitchen work).
Men Are Better Than Women!
What simple times we used to live in. As if any man could one-handedly hold an adult woman by a string. This ad is all about putting women in their place like the last one. And the next one. And probably the next...
Oh, no, it's actually about hiking sweaters. Almost missed that in the sea of text that is the 1960s. Not only are they fashionable, but they're also not a "drag" like the wife is. And for only pennies, you can get one in brass (is it plated?), olive, white, or gray! And you don't even need your wife to show it off. Cool beans!
Huh, this one is not about how a woman belongs in the kitchen and we're actually shocked. It is, however about making yourself look skinny... while pregnant. Yes, as ironic as that sounds, this truly is a maternity corset.
Claiming to give you "better babies" by providing perfect abdominal support. And you won't look like you're with child, the only thing a woman was needed for back then. How perfect!
A Woman's "Extra" Feelings
Have you ever been a person? You know, just...alive? Oh, and also a woman? Well, then we've got the perfect product for you! Getting excited and a bit hot and sweaty is no good, so get your secret deodorant today!
Coming in four different types for all your "extra feeling" needs, this product is guaranteed to whisk away that smell you get from, well... everyday activity! 'Cause we all know women have extra feelings that men don't. Get yours today!
You Mean WOMEN Can, Too??
Okay, can we all stop and appreciate the masterpiece that is this woman's expression? Have you ever see anyone do that? Well if you saw these brand new Alcoa Aluminum HyTop aluminum caps, you'd be making that face, too Truly meme-worthy.
Honestly, though, bless these types of caps. Half of us here need help opening bottles, and we're not all women. And those women among us that can open bottles without help can probably beat us in many strength competitions. Like, have you ever tried to open a can of sauce? Truly impossible.
This Soap Help You Keep Your Man
Look, hygiene is obviously important and no matter who it is, if you stop taking care of yourself you'll probably drive your partner away. That being said, the man that decided it's a woman's job to keep her man by keeping clean was a fool.
It goes without saying, though, that things like this are what enabled men to be so selfish. And women would buy these products for that reason. And while we definitely recommend cleaning yourself often, don't ever think a little stank will be a good enough reason to break it off.
Witness The Power
Um, what do we say about this one... It's certainly... a change of pace from the others. We're assuming this is from before hundreds of thousands of people were "split to smithereens" by the atomic bombs.
While this must have been a cool demonstration of science before the devastation imposed on Japan by the United States military and Harry S. Truman, there's no doubt that this ad would be tasteless today. There's also no doubt that atoms don't "split to smithereens", but that's another argument altogether.
Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. If only that's where this advert stopped. Unfortunately, while the main point was to help you get the right gift for your partner, this one took it a step too far.
In the first place, the gifts are just a collection of kitchen items further cementing the woman's place in the kitchen. The more concerning bit is the part where it disregards the way a woman feels and reassures her that she'll get what she wants if she just stops whining.
Make Me A Sandwich
While some girls might still be taught about how a boy is going to chase after them, it's certainly not something they're told by their favorite bread company. Especially not with "make me a sandwich" undertones.
We've heard Wonder Bread is good (if you like white bread), but we never knew its slogan used to be "Helps catch boys...!" If only it wasn't so sexist, this might actually be the perfect way to a boy's heart. Or a girl's. Everyone likes food, so it's truly just a shame they went in this direction.
The Swim Cap (And Magic Makeup)
Ah, yes, the importance of that perfectly quaffed up-do. Who can resist a woman who can get out of a pool just as attractive as she was when she went in. Do they also make wet caps for makeup? Because there's no way that woman's makeup stays as perfect as that.
You know what, forget how terrible it is that this ad is placing importance on the way you look after having your hair and makeup done, this ad would be banned just on the basis that no one should be wearing those silly pineapple/shrimp-with-scales looking thing on their head.
Successful Marriages Start In The Kitchen
Wow, Pyrex, we all believed in you. The magical pot that looks great as a serving tray and can also go in the oven is obviously not immune to the failures that was 1900s society. Successful marriages start on the internet, obviously!
It doesn't come as a surprise that we would find something that places too much importance on a woman's cooking (we've already seen a few and there's more to come). That being said, we typically hope it's from companies we don't know and love.
What In The...?
We're almost positive that this advertisement is an allusion to sex--darn Victorian Age riddles. The bigger question is, is it for or against intercourse? Usually calling something demonic possession is bad. Especially for religious folk.
Thing is, it says that the endorphins will make your body feeling fresh and relaxed, but then it goes on to say that they guarantee all manner of agony, as well as leaving your muscles tender and lax. Much confusion... And we're going to ignore the inevitable innocent child making a comment about it.
What is even happening here? Why is this poor child about to be eaten by an alligator? Even the child is questioning the choices that led up to this exact moment. He clearly doesn't want to be a "dainty morsel" and maybe the licorice doesn't either.
Moreover, is imminent death supposed to make it more appealing? Is it a reference to the color of his skin? What does any of this have to do with Africa? We have way too many questions and no answers to be seen.
Danger: Women's Suffrage
It should say that women's suffering is a menace to society. Forcing women to suffer through their first amendment rights being denied and oppression, in general, did our society no favors.
Of course, there were plenty of people ready to make the argument that women having an opinion and the right to vote would ruin society. Women were considered weak, dumb, and not to be of any use outside the kitchen. Truth is, men were afraid they would lose all their power and control. Good thing they did somewhat; today's world is a better place.
"Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn't have to fire a shot to floor her." She was probably floored by the terrible ad she didn't realize she was about to participate in. Some hero.
But, hey, at least those slacks look extra spiffy. Oh, wait, they look exactly like every other brand of pants that men could get back then. So now your misogynistic and a worker drone. Nice.
Freckles Are So 19th Century.
This is the first to come in the vain of skin perfection. This one, in particular, is referring to caucasian skin being better than ever. With the advent of skin whitening agents, freckled, blemished skin is out, and perfect skin is the new craze.
Nowadays, there are people who would kill to have freckles. It's interesting to see how we've gone full-circle regarding the way we look. Unfortunately, though, that wasn't the case back then, and bleaching creme would also be directed towards people of color to "correct" their skin.
Good things are twice as good in cellophane, and to prove that, the Du Pont corporation wrapped a bunch of kids in it. Never mind the suffocation, this stuff is the out of this world!
Seriously, though, not everything is twice as good in cellophane. This is one of those "don't try this at home" tricks. Otherwise, you might just find that things wrapped cellophane are twice as dead.
Using guns to promote safe sex is not the only thing wrong with this ad. Don't get us wrong, it's a huge issue, but that was at a time where guns weren't used as often as they are now to commit massacres.
No, this ad is just all types of wrong. From portraying beautiful women (unsurprisingly, only white women) as loose to implying that those same women are "loaded" with diseases, we can imagine a thousand different ways to address the dangers of Vinarial Disease without being so obscene.
Makes You As Fat As A Pig
This one's not exactly what you might be thinking. It's actually using fatness as a way to emphasize how healthy you will be if you use their tonic. While wrong by today's standards, being fat implied you were wealthy and healthy being able to feed yourself.
While many reported that it wasn't exactly tasteless, many were using tonics (known as tonic water today) as a cure-all or preventive measure for things like malaria. If you look past the offensive nature of this ad, it's actually quite funny to see a baby's head stuck on a pig as a way to lure people in.
Nine out of ten doctors agree that lung cancer is the best way to enjoy your five-minute break from work... is what this should say. Obviously, this was before the knowledge that cigrettes were bad, but still.
Also, can we talk about that T-zone for a minute? Why didn't they include "terrible breath" and "tongue cancer"? It's not like they didn't know that first one. Or did people associate that kind of thing as good? Please tell us.
These Flavored Cigarettes
Oh, wait, never mind that last question. Apparently, we found an answer. According to Tipalet, if you blow some smoke in a woman's face she'll follow you anywhere. Now we know why we've never heard of Tipalet.
Not only is this disgusting for blowing smoke in someone's face, but it's also a terrible way to treat a lady. No one will follow you anywhere like that, unless, maybe, it's cannabis. Smokers of America, do yourself a favor. Just don't
The Old Volkswagen Ad
You know that old stereotype that women can't drive? Well, apparently the good old folks at Volkswagen knew it, too, and used it to advertise their car. "Women are gentle, but they hit things."
Apparently, men are immune to automobile accidents, but their wives aren't. Not to worry, though, because owning a Volkswagen apparently comes with free insurance. "You can conveniently replace anything she uses to stop the car."
Use Amphetamines Today!
No, this is technically not an ad for methamphetamines, but it's still equally disturbing. Before there were stricter regulations on the use of medications, there were addictive drugs prescribed for all sorts of things.
This one in particular is promoting the same thing that your child might be taking. ADHD drugs like Adderall contain this drug as a stimulant, helping you focus by raising blood pressure and heart rate. That explains why it'll keep you fit and healthy: you'll be bouncing off the walls!
This Coffee Ad
This one is a doozy. In an effort to tell people about their coffee samples so you can test for freshness, the Chase & Sanborn Coffee company decided a great idea would be to enable domestic abuse.
Look, she's even smiling! "Woe be unto you" for not store-testing for fresher coffee. And apparently a whole load of spanks, too. This whole ad is just really uncomfortable as it reveals the assumption that men would do this to their wives if they did anything wrong at all.
Didn't Burn The Beer
Having wife issues? Ever wish she'd stop burning dinner? Not, to worry, you've still got good 'ol Schlitz beer! Because she could never burn the beer.
Whenever you're feeling sad, whenever your man is mad, just grab him a fresh one out of the fridge. He'll cheer up right away! Schlitz beer. It's the Schlitz!
What Girl Doesn't?
No, this is not a joke. Go ahead, look it up; they have a whole website. There's not really a whole lot that has to be said about this hot dog advertisement, other than it was a genius way to sell their food.
Starting in 1849 at a Sierra Nevada foothills trading post, Boner Billy's quickly became famous for...well, obviously their name. Thus, when it became common to call an erection as such, this company was quick to make all manner of ads and innuendoes. Besides, who doesn't like a Big Boner?
Another day, another dollar. Another euphemism and another gun advertisement. This is the Big Dick hand-cranked wooden bullet machine gun. Modeled after the machine guns used on European battlefields. How welcoming.
It's not exactly clear how damaging the gun can be. Being made out of wood doesn't seem to change the fact that these are bullets, not pellets. It's just another way to sell propaganda and get young boys ready to enlist and serve their country. You DEFINITELY wouldn't see this in America anymore.
Dr. Scott's Electric Hair Brush
What is up with ads and using the problems of other cultures to their advantage to sell their products? Why can't it just say the brush will help with your hair troubles? Besides, the "Indian's" biggest enemy became the white man.
Then again, they had no problem with false advertising, like claims that it will help cure headaches and neuralgia. It's a hairbrush, not your excuse to stereotype people's cultures and make fun of their difficulties!!
Nice Try, Marlboro
As if using doctors wasn't bad enough, back in the day, Marlboro used babies to advertise their cigarettes. Granted, the health issues weren't widely known to the public, but this is just in poor taste.
You know what, forget that. Whoever decided a sad baby with a little cowboy hat was a good way to market their product should be fired. In no way is a sad baby a sign that the product is good! Obviously, this was foreshadowing.
Butter: Good And Good For You
As much as we wish this were true, that sweet sweet golden nectar that is butter is one of the worst things you can put in your body. They got one thing right, it does lubricate your arteries and veins... with plaque.
Honestly, though, if anyone was caught eating butter like this, they'd get a quick trip to the doctor's office. Or the bathroom if they're lactose intolerant. Hey, seems like it does lube up the gut after all!
Eat Moldy Bread
This one seems like a bad idea. First of all, you don't want to try penicillin all willy nilly because then you'll build up a tolerance to it. Also, you never want to eat moldy bread. Ever.
It's pretty obvious this is from before they knew all that. Simpler times we used to live in. Well, not us, but you get the picture.
Cocaine Tooth Drops
Surprise, surprise, another drug advertisement, and this time with children! If you have a toothache you just can't shake, why not try a cocaine drop. They'll take care of that right away.
Side effects include addiction, bloody noses, heart palpitations... you know what? Maybe it's best just to steer clear of this little old thing. That's why they took it out of Coca-Cola anyway.
Oh, no. Please tell us this isn't what we think it is. A Geiger counter to find sell uranium. Not a toy, but even a child can use it to find great wealth. This can really only be one thing.
We're hoping this doesn't actually pertain to the atomic bomb we mentioned earlier. That would mean whoever actually did this could potentially be held accountable. Good thing we live in the here and now and not yesteryear.
Nothing Does It Like Seven-Up!
Babies. Super cute, super cuddly, and apparently a very popular way to prove a product's worth. While 7up is undoubtedly a delicious drink, there's no way it can be okay for a baby to drink, not that they would enjoy all that CO2.
Where did they even get the idea that they have the youngest customers in the business? It all comes back to false advertising. We guess laws on that took care of all these weird ads that used to be going around.
Keep Her Where She Belongs...
"These boots were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do". Hopefully, one of these days these boots aren't gonna walk all over you. Because who wants to be kept naked "where they belong"?
Can you believe how common it was to make slogans about that? It kind of just gets swept under the rug, but it's still just as real. While deceptively sexy (what is her man about to do to her??) it's got pretty obvious sexist undertones.
Pick Up More Women
Well, it definitely does pick up five times more something. Women, though, unless you're a god, it does not. It's almost a cute way to show you that you can drive a bunch of people at once, but does it really have to be so overtly objectifying?
Well, if you're this far down the list, then the answer is probably yes. At least, in regards to vintage ads. There just seems to be an unending amount of these kinds of ads, and apparently, women sell products.
A Mustang Of A New Stripe
If you weren't convinced yet, here's the ford mustang to further cement that theory. When they say "a Mustang of a new stripe" do you think they're referring to the car?
We think they're trying to suggest you'll be riding the girl. Or that she'll come with the car. Or maybe you can be the girl? It is a really cool look to be fair. They should have said you can be this awesome-looking girl, that would sell it much better.
The Molby Revolving Hammock
When you think of hammocks, do you think of comfort or exercise? Well, the Molby company thinks of torture devices and claims that it'll make your spine young. Guess they mean the new spine you'll be getting after surgery.
Seriously, this thing looks like a death trap. We don't know if anyone ever bought this thing, but we sure as hell don't want to know. This is something that belongs in one of those medieval museums because that's definitely where they stole the idea from.
New: Cure For Drunks
This is a recipe for disaster. Literally. Not only is it a terrible idea to give alcoholics more alcohol, but if you read carefully, you'll notice that this concoction is a mix of cocaine syrup and grapes.
That's right, folks, this is literally heart failure in a bottle. Claiming that they'll have a "new want for life and fun" might be so accurate because you'll have a near-death experience drinking this thing. Whoever thought this was a good idea... it's not.
How many cigarettes do you think we can fit into this list? "For your health" cigarettes are not. These claim to treat bad breath (what?), hay fever (how?), asthma (now that's just not possible), and an assortment of other ailments.
If they have menthol as an ingredient, then maybe it can help soothe your throat. But asthma, really? The best treatment for that is inhalable medication, not an inhalable lung irritant. And if that wasn't bad enough, it's not suitable for ages under 6. THAT MEANS CHILDREN 6 AND UP CAN SMOKE THIS?!
The Bad Soap Ad
"Why doesn't your mamma wash you with Fairy soap?" This. This is why his mamma doesn't wash him with Fairy soap. She probably uses the soap brand that doesn't promote racist stereotypes.
And if you think that one's bad, you're probably not ready for the next one.
The Worst Soap Ad
No. No, no, no, no, no. It was already bad when we had soap that help you keep your man, or bleach cream to remove your freckles and blemishes, but this is a whole other category entirely.
Lautz Bros. & Co's stearine soap claimed to be so good at its job that it could wipe away any dirt, including the color of your skin. Its slogan "beat that if you can" challenged others to do better. Well, how about scrub yourself out of existence? Beat that if you can.
Pink Is For Girls
Pink is for girls. And Also boys. And everything in between. Pink is for everyone, but you cant tell that to the... wait what year is this? A barrel bathtub with a semi-wireless phone attached?
Lustre cream (there's no way any of us are putting that in our hair) is a product of times before when pink was a girl's best friend. And the kitchen. And, of course, a barrel tub phone. Just be sure you're allowed to use this product. "You are a girl, aren't you?
Pink Pills For Pale People
A cure for something called "St. Vitus' Dance", this pill was used widely in Europe as an over-the-counter drug. It also supposedly cured other ailments, among them being a pale and sallow complexion.
So, the olden days were about being white, but not too white, bleaching your skin to remove freckles, scrubbing away the color from your skin...oh, and the frequent sexist comments. It's starting to get old.
It's A Man's World
It's a man's world, alright, and nothing says it better than a tie ad. What's bed in breakfast got to do with it though? Oh, that's right, how could we forget? Women belong in the kitchen.
You'd think after 50 items we'd get it already. Just kidding, it's definitely clicked. It's gotten really old at this point if we haven't said that already. Don't worry, it'll all be over soon.
Canadian Patriotic Fund
Well, at least this one accepts a skin of a different color. That's a good mix-up after the last forty-something. Too bad it immediately ruins the moment by saying that he's got a white heart.
If this were an ad nowadays, you can bet the Canadian Patriotic Fund would be near-broke. We say near because you know there's gotta be some jerkwads out there not giving a crap about racism.
Old Levi's Jeans
Levi's jeans. Our pants will bring you love! Heteronormative love, that is. There's just something about products and brands trying to sell you sex, not whatever they're advertising.
To be fair, that must be why they say "sex sells" because it really does. We just would have loved to see some POC and LGBT representation as well. While they might be the original jeans, they certainly aren't original with they're marketing schemes.