Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Advertising Winds Still Blow

Thought for the day:  Do advertisements reflect society realistically, or do they merely attempt to manipulate our perception of it?


Subliminal messages may be taboo in today's advertising, but that doesn't mean commercials aren't designed to manipulate our thinking. After all, it's their job to convince us that our lives would be better if we buy whatever product it is they're trying to sell.

I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second. [Steven Wright]

Let's hope society wasn't as blatantly sexist... and clueless... as it comes across in these ads from the '40s and '50s.  We looked at some a couple weeks ago... today, we're gonna check out the rest. Once again, thanks to my brother for sending them to me.

Ready?
































Some of you might be experiencing a little agitation of your own after looking at some of those ads, but you know I can't send you away in that kinda state. We've gotta end with a chuckle. So, how about a couple commercials with a funny side? You don't have to understand the language to get the point in the first one. Um, if the second one offends anyone, let me apologize in advance. Sorry! (giggle)







Some of you dropped in to visit with Dianne Salerni and me at her blog yesterday, and I thank you for that, but if you (gasp!) missed her interview with me about Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade... we're still there! Come say hello. There's still a piece or two of chocolate rum cake left, but you'd better hurry. Chocolate cake is never allowed to sit around long enough to get stale. It's a rule. Um, I think we'll skip the tea. For some reason,  I'm simply not in the mood for a cup...

                                 Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Big Sale. Last Week. Why advertise? I already missed it. They're just rubbing it in. [Yakov Smirnoff]

106 comments:

  1. WOW Susan ... commercials have certainly changed over the years and ads... unbelievabe some of the stuff they could get away with...

    Even though ads are foolish today, they are nowhere as insulting as ads back then... change can be good... ;-)

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    1. Yeah, the attitude toward women used to be more openly hostile than what it is nowadays. (HA!)

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  2. I had no idea you could be 'turned' by drinking Ovaltine....and just in time for that cruise.

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    1. Ovaltine and Bosco... I was never a fan of either. Of course, my mother mixed it with nasty powdered milk to try to "fool" us into thinking we had "yummy" chocolate milk. Couldn't fool us! The chunks of powdered milk and Ovaltine/Bosco that never quite dissolved in the water gave it away.

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    2. The trick with powdered milk is to mix the powder with a little water first until it resembles cream, it's easier to squash those lumps, then stir vigorously while adding the rest of the water. Straining the finished "milk" helps too. Of course these days there is Instant Milk powder which dissolves more readily with fewer or no lumps. There's no disguising that awful taste though.

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    3. Obviously, my mother didn't know that; she was only interested in saving money. That stuff she made was downright nasty.

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  3. I don't know...do you think the ads are less insulting to women?

    Back then women in commercials were indentured servants. I get why a woman of today would find that offensive, but it was pretty much a reflection of what was the social norm.

    Now women have equality in the work place, financial equality, and to Madison Avenue they are basically sex toys.

    Interesting that makeup ads do not seem to have changed at all.

    I just turn off the frickin' television.

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    1. Yeah, the old commercials were a reflection of the social norm at the time, but that doesn't mean women weren't insulted by them. An undercurrent of resentment simmered under June Cleaver's smile.

      A lot of women would argue with you about the "equality" in the workplace and "financial equality" statement, but yep, Madison Avenue has always known that sex sells.

      With your knowledge of music, it would be interesting to explore how pop music has been a reflection of social attitudes and mores. With my hubby being in Vietnam, I was "establishment" and not part of the hippie culture, but I certainly identified with (and still love) most of the protest songs and fold music of that era.

      Good tactic. My hubby likes the TV on as background noise, so I generally zone out during commercials. For that matter, during most shows, too. (So many books, so little time...)

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    2. >>... A lot of women would argue with you about the "equality" in the workplace and "financial equality" statement

      I know that I myself would argue with him about that.

      To paraphrase from one of George Orwell's books: Women are now the animals who are "more equal".

      The pendulum never seems to swing to the middle and stop.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  4. So glad I've learned to tune out commercials.

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    1. Commercials provide a good reason for recording favorite TV shows... just so you can fast forward through 'em.

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  5. I have quit Ovaltine at bed time. It's just too confusing for everyone next morning. But it's a true comfort to know there's something for my senile agitation. Thorazine or aerobic cane-brandishing --surely there's something to be said for both. Great post, Susan. Thanks!

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    1. HA! I quit Ovaltine... and Bosco... a long time ago. Both verged on the edge of child abuse, in my opinion. Now, aerobic cane-brandishing... that might be fun. At first, I thought your comment said, "acerbic"... that'd be even more fun. Good way to get rid of that senile agitation.

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  6. Hiss and spit, to many of those ads. And I agree with Disconnected.
    Thank you for leaving me snickering. The first video was perhaps a given - but the second was completely unexpected. And me a tea drinker too.

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    1. I'm glad to make you snicker. No problem for me with the tea drinking. I drink PG Tips... no strings!

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  7. HI Susan .. they're great to see - as they weren't that long ago .. and I could not do without a Kenwood Chef! Couldn't and still can't!

    Loved both the videos - interesting that the vase one has been turned into an advert ... while the second is just plain fun ...

    Cheers - your brother has good choice .. Hilary

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    1. I must confess, I never even HEARD of a Kenwood Chef before. (The only chef around here is... ME!)

      Glad ya liked the videos. Cheers to you, too. (Um, in case you hadn't heard... it's a BOY! HA!)

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  8. I always knew there would be dire consequenses from all that Ovaltine I used to drink.....
    Advertisements have always tried to manipulate our perception of society. They really haven't changed as much as we think they have. The sexist, manipulative elements are still there - - only with very crafty and subtle variations.

    Some will want to shoot me for saying this, but I think many of the ads today are MORE insulting to women than they used to be.

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    1. No, I don't wanta shoot you, but I don't agree. I think women are presented much more equitably than they used to be, but now men are made to look like buffoons. And children, like obnoxious brats. Compared to the way women were presented in the ads of the '50s and '60s, I think we're in much better shape. (In the ads, that is... not necessarily in person.)

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    2. You're right on target, Susan. Men are very often made to look like brainless buffoons nowadays.
      But I also think that in many commercials women are now portrayed as unbearably aggressive know-it-all shrews , or else they are like sex-generated machines.

      Sometimes, the housewife image is almost more palatable.....

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    3. Hadn't you heard? We DO know it all... (HA!)

      All I can say is if an alien race is watching our TV ads... and moronic programs... they'll deduce there's no intelligent life on our planet.

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  9. Aha, so it was the Ovaltine! Sure I can't blame something or other on the Bosco? Should I get something for my senile cane wielding agitation? Wonderful way to get my morning going. Now to go start the coffee, not tea.

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    1. Absolutely! I'd definitely place Ovaltine and Bosco into the same category. Bosco maybe a little worse. (Old Mad magazine jingle spoof: "I hate Bosco, it's no good for me. Mama puts it in my milk and tries to poison me...")

      Ah, no problem with tea. Just look before ya dunk.

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  10. The ads triggered my senile agitation to the point that I want to sell my Subaru. Maybe I need a glass of that Blatz beer to calm down.

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    1. I don't even like beer, but I DO like that name. Cracks me up. Reminds me of the beer on Laverne & Shirley.

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  11. Wow...

    Now I'm off to read the interview.

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    1. Speechless, huh? Those ads'll do that to ya.

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  12. Once again, speechless.

    I'm still recovering from the Chinese Walmart.
    ~Just Jill
    ( I Luv your blog.)

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    1. Wow, two in a row struck ya speechless? Now I don't know what to say!

      (Thanks. I'm enamored with yours, too.)

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  13. Yeah I ignore their crap
    Trying to sell across the map
    They have changed a ton though
    But they still try and make everything seem so delightful that they show

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    1. Ad execs say, "Buy! Buy! Buy!"
      We frown and ask, "Why? Why? Why?
      Will it make us fit,
      Smart and funny?"
      "Not so," they admit.
      "But it makes US money!"


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  14. LOL LOL I love the mom and baby benefiting so much from Blatz beer. Oh my. I have to admit the cocaine drops don't seem like such a bad idea LOL. And yeah, it is time I got myself a gun for Christmas, what's wrong with that?

    Hilarious post as always, Susan. :)

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    1. Yeah, who knew? All these years, breast-feeding mothers have needlessly avoided alcohol, when they could have been providing their babies a little booze-inspired sleep. (If they wake up with a hangover, a couple cocaine drops should do the trick.)

      Shoot! If you want a gun, go get one!

      Thanks. Glad ya liked it.

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  15. 'I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second. [Steven Wright]'

    Loooove this.

    I meant to tell you I ended up picking up a Vance Packard book, The Waste Makers. It was excellent and eye-opening (since the issues of 1960 are the same ones we're facing today and I was under the impression that our woes in that vein were slightly more recent.)

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    1. Isn't Steven Wright a hoot?

      Very cool on getting the Vance Packard book. His books may be old, but as you say, they're still applicable to what's going on in today's world.

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  16. hahaaa... I dunno... confusing tea bags with tampons is a reeeal stretch with or without coffee... the ad guys hanging around in the let's find a creative way to promote coffee room. I know! let's have a woman confuse a teabag for a tampon!

    yeah.. that'll work

    I remember that Van Heusen ad... well, I remember most of those ads. Didn't like them then and don't like them now.

    You see that hunky guy selling salsa ad? now... that's advertising.

    'morning, Susan ;)

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    1. 'Morning, Carolyn. Oops... guess I'd better make that 'afternoon. Rats. I guess that means I'd better start thinking about lunch. Hmmm, I suddenly have an urge to eat something with salsa...

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  17. I love the one for senile irritation. Yeah buddy, throw in a little qualude while you at it and you won't be irritated at all, by anything... ever.

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    1. Gee, I wonder why you were drawn to the one for "senile agitation"...

      Oh Lord, I haven't heard anything about quaaludes in a bunch of years. (They even still around?)

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  18. Wow, some of those are pretty horrifying! Especially the Suburu one. Yikes.

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    1. Why? You got something against being... tamed? HA!

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  19. Wow, some of those ads are absolutely unbelievable! (I'd probably kill my hubby if I got a hoover for Christmas!) Though the clips were hilarious--the second one about had me rolling on the floor :)

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    1. Yeah, it would totally suck to get a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.

      Glad ya liked the clips.

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  20. Susan
    I did miss it. I was out all day digging on the rock pile again.

    toooo funny. Great post. You have a very nice brother. Those vids were a hoot and a half.

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    1. Digging on the rock pile... isn't that what they used to make the men at Alcatraz do?

      Glad you enjoyed the post and videos. Yeah, he's a pretty cool brother.

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    2. P.S. I loved that Hoover ad. The broad is lying on the floor caressing her Hoover and reading the note. How could any woman really get offended at this. It's funny, hysterical. This is the truth.... I don't even know how to run a vacuum. I haven't had carpet since shag was the all mighty.

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    3. Dare I even admit this...? Would you believe we still HAVE shag carpeting in several rooms? (The shame of it all...)

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  21. Oh my gosh, how funny some of these are (though I wouldn't mind a Hoover for Christmas, lolol).

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    1. Glad ya liked 'em. I used to have a Hoover, but I'm a much bigger fan of the Dyson I have now. (And seriously, I have no problem with getting appliances as gifts...)

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  22. Know why those ads suck so much? Written by men, as most advertising agencies were heavily run by men. Remember 'Mad Men' was based on something. . .

    Most women were too busy 'keeping their weight down by doing all that housework' (the ad above). No wonder women started burning their bras in the 60s.

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    1. The ad that riles me the most here is the one for Midol. It's a wonder more women in the throes of PMS when they saw that one didn't commit murder... beginning with the guys who wrote that ad!

      Funny thing is the men (AKA the "oppressors") were THRILLED when women started burning their bras. Too funny.

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    2. You put "Bra Burning" on Pay-Per-View and I am so there.

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    3. HA! I dare say, you wouldn't be alone.

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  23. Oh, man. Those adds were pretty bad. I think the one that outraged me the most was the tie one. Glad things are changing, slowly, and hopefully for the better.

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    1. Yeah, that one's a killer. I wonder how many men would secretly love to go back to those "king of the castle" days again. They DID have it pretty darned good.

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    2. Truth be known, I have it pretty good now, although I'd never get away with that tie thing.
      I really question Mrs. Penwasser's taste in men.
      I think she's insane.

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    3. I think Mrs. Penwasser is doing all right; she had the good sense to marry a man with a sense of humor. (Not to mention a spiffy uniform!)

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  24. Cocaine for sale direct from the pharmacy. And it was cheap, too! My times have changed...

    We don't need gun manufacturers running ads any longer. We now have President Obama. He is the best gun salesman ever. Every time he makes a speech about how we need to get those guns off the streets, he puts people into a panic about guns and sales spike.

    I was saving that first commercial for my HERE'S TO YOU post one of these weeks. I might still use it... hope you don't mind!

    That second one isn't any worse than the news gals on MSNBC wearing tampons for earrings. I am not sure what point they were trying to make...

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    1. Yep, lots of things used to be readily available at the corner drug store, like the chemicals kids could buy... stuff considered far too toxic nowadays. There used to be one product my friends and I loved. I don't remember what it was called... something like Super Bubble. But it was a tube of smelly stuff that came with a thin plastic straw-like tube. You'd put a glob of the stinky stuff on the end of the skinny straw and blow a bubble. Man, did that stuff ever stink! Turns out, it was a toxic manufacturing byproduct. (It sure did made huge plastic-like bubbles, though!

      Sure, use the video. It's a hoot.

      The second one? Maybe it's saying some of the crap we hear from politicians makes her ears bleed?

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    2. And Klick Klacks. Don't forget Klick Klacks! Those things shatter and you can put your frikkin' eye out.
      Still safer than Lawn Darts, though.
      Imagine at the family barbecue: "Hey, look! Al just impaled Grandpa!"

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    3. Alas, I don't remember Klick Klacks! I'll have to look 'em up.

      We once had a set of lawn darts, but never took them out of the box. Somehow, letting a bunch of guys drink beer and throw big pointy objects didn't seem like a terribly good idea. We decided to stick with shooting pool.

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    4. Go ahead and Google Klick Klacks (I did just to check the spelling). We had Lawn Darts (called oh-so-cleverly: Jarts). They really were wicked dangerous.

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    5. Actually, I did Google them yesterday. I guess I'm too... delightfully mature... for them to be around when I was a kid. I don't even remember seeing them when our kids were growing up. Not that I would've let them HAVE them. Our boys wanted Chinese fighting stars, and I said, "No way, Jose!" Somehow or t'other, they managed to get some anyway... and I found out. I was l livid, but my hubby and I didn't blow a gasket. I simply called the police station and arranged for one of the officers to talk to them about those "toys." Then I dragged their little keisters... and those stars... to the station. HIM, they listened to... (And now they tell that story to THEIR kids.)

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  25. Hi Susan,

    Those ads are cringe-worthy. In Britain, there is one particular supermarket that makes me so angry that I sent them an email of complaint and asked them when they might join the rest of us in the 21st Century.

    There catchphrase is, “That's why Mums go to Iceland!” Yes, not the country, but a supermarket named "Iceland". I said how about doing an add portraying other people such as a busy single dad, for instance. Their response to me was that "Mum" was a generic reference and could mean anybody. They then went on about their value for money in their email reply. I responded by telling them to really have a good think about joining the 21st Century and I didn't appreciate their sexist stereotypes!

    Rant over!

    Gary :)

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    1. I thought they went to Iceland to meet a viking and get beheaded?
      Huh. Guess not.

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    2. Well that's a new one on me. I never thought of "Mum" as being a generic term. Some ad people simply don't have a clue. That store has an opportunity to lay claim to a broader customer base, but instead, it chooses to limit it by sticking with a maternal-type terminology. Nuts. And self-defeating.

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  26. A gay cruise with puppets!
    I always suspected as much of Kukla.
    Little surprised about Ollie, though. He seemed so enamored of Fran.

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    1. Nice to know I'm not the only one who remembered who they are.

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  27. Unlike a lot of people I cannot truly enjoy the show "Mad Men" because I have often thought that if there is one place true evil resides in this world it is in the advertising agencies of Madison Avenue. Those old advertisements both sent chills down my spine as well as turned my stomach.

    Don't get me wrong, this was a fantastic post.

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    1. I've never seen "Mad Men." If it's on one of the pay channels, that's probably why. Sorry to turn your stomach, dude. Have a Blatz.

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  28. These ads would cause senile agitation! Some of them are downright shocking. I took a course in college many moons ago about this type of thing, and we had to find the hidden messages in ads. It was extremely interesting - and alarming!

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    1. They didn't work very hard at hiding those messages in THESE ads, did they? Nope, they lay 'em right out there. Quite a bit different from the subliminal messages in advertisements that Vance Packard wrote about.

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  29. Are we supposed to put Blatz in the baby bottle? That one cracked me up. The roots of paranoia and the need for guns?

    I believe a lot of our 'beliefs' are founded on propaganda.

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    1. HA! I don't think so. I think the idea is for mama to drink the Blatz, and then she and her baby (her breast-fed baby, which was practically a given back then) would both benefit.

      Yep, I think you nailed it. Unfortunately, a lot of our beliefs and so-called truths are based on propaganda and manipulation. Today, we get it from the Internet... if it's on the Internet, it'd gotta be true, right? (BONE JURE, says the "French model".)

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  30. I yearn to be tamed kinda like I yearn for more hot flashes and night sweats. The second video actually shocked me a tiny bit. It's not easy to shock me. It's okay. I've already recovered.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. HA! Yeah, me, too. Cool. I have a feeling it ain't easy to shock the lovely Janie. (I'm glad it didn't leave any permanent scars.)

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    2. Klick-klacks were incredibly popular when I was in sixth grade. By the time I got some, nobody cared about them anymore and the word was out that they were dangerous. When Favorite Young Man was young, our neighbors had lawn darts, and this was years after they'd been banned because of people kinda sorta dying from getting darted. We made FYM come inside whenever they played with them. I think those people win the Stupidest Neighbors prize.

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    3. If you were in 6th grade, I was probably married, but not yet in the market for big kid toys, so that explains why I never heard of them. Lawn darts are dangerous, but our neighbors had something that scared me even more: a trampoline. I'm not talking about a little trampoline, either; I'm talking about a BIG one, almost as big as what we jumped on in high school gymnastics. With no supervision or spotters, it's a wonder none of the neighborhood kids ended up with a broken neck. I wouldn't even let our kids go over there. (What a meanie!)

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  31. These ads are an antidote to any woman's self-esteem.
    Every time I see them I get to understand more about our modern societies.
    Congratulations on your interview, Susan. I will check it.

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    1. Either an antidote to self-esteem or an incentive to raise a ruckus.

      Thanks.

      Delete
  32. Yeah, those ads just made me shake my head. What were they thinking?

    Our kids will shake their heads about us lying out in the sun after we put baby oil on our skin and lemon juice in our hair. We've got it coming...

    LOL at the video clips!

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    1. What were they thinking? Probably that men controlled the money, and men would approve of those ads.

      Yeah, I plead guilty to slathering myself with baby oil and iodine before baking in the sun when I was a teenager, but much to my dismay, our teenage granddaughters are into sunbathing, too.

      Glad ya liked the clips.

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  33. Those ads made me gasp out loud! Each one seemed worse than the last, but in retrospect, that first one with the child in bed with the gun that shoots straight and kills ... Yeah, that was the worst.

    Thanks for coming by my blog, Susan! It was great to have you there!

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    1. Those old ads make our more recent ones look a whole lot better, don't they?

      Thank you so much for having me! I do appreciate it.

      Delete
  34. Wonderful advertisements that show your point! This morning I put on my radar for men with a van Heusen-tie, while hoping nobody mixed Thoraxin into my Ovaltine - otherwise it might be necessary to buy myself a Christmas' Gift (and I'm not speaking of a Hover!)
    I'll follow you now - like your blog! Britta

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    1. Hi, Britta! Nice to meet you. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It'd be interesting to know if Germany... and any other country... also produced bizarre ads like this once upon a time.

      HA! Funny comment. Get ready... I'm a-coming your way...

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  35. Had a little giggle at the Blatz Beer ad. We didn't drink beer as babies, don't think Mum drank it either but don't really know for sure, but from about age one, we did get a spoonful of malt extract every single day. I still have a teaspoon of malt extract every day. I mix it into my porridge, or just eat it off the spoon if I'm having something it can't be mixed in to. It's chock-a-block with B vitamins.
    As for Ovaltine, I have no wish to wake up gay, so I'll stick with Milo.

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    1. Malt extract, huh? Interesting. (Do malted chocolate balls count? Or chocolate malts from the ice cream parlor?)

      I don't remember taking malt extract, but I did eat yeast pills. Doctor's orders, too, although I don't remember what the heck it was supposed to treat or prevent. Anemia, maybe? To maintain a clear complexion? I don't remember, but I do remember (urp!) its distinctive taste.

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    2. Malted chocolate balls, known out here as Maltesers do very definitely count. Yum! Chocolate malts too, I get mine with extra malt. From what I remember about yeast pills they're to maintain a clear complexion.

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    3. The malted balls here are called Whoppers, although I have no idea why. Huh! Well, if a clear complexion is what those yeast pills were for, they worked. I never had much in the way of pimples when I was a teenager. (I wish I'd thought to make our kids take them when they were teens.)

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  36. LOL! Oh, my. I'll never look at my teabags quite the same way again.

    And cocaine drops for a toothache? Yeah, I'll just bet those worked! *grin*

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    1. Just to be on the safe side, maybe you should use the kinda tea bags I use... no strings on 'em!

      Yeah. "What tooth? Do I have a a tooth? What IS a tooth, anyway...?"

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  37. Oh my gosh, they were great--and disturbing. LOL

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  38. As if a guy driving that piece of junk Suburu would.actually have a girl in the real.world.

    Thanks.for.the laughs. There are still some.insensitive ads I see on TV from time to time.

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    1. HA! You'd be surprised, though. Not ALL females judge a guy by his wheels. Most of the guys I dated prior to marriage drove real clunkers. One even drove a dump truck. (Imagine riding to church in THAT!)

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  39. OMG, those ads...so cringeworthy. I think it's both a reflection of society as well as the psyche of those who make the ads.

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    1. You could be right. There probably weren't any women in advertising in those days, either.

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  40. LOL. We live near Disney, and we saw the Country Bears Jamboree the other day. I was floored. Seriously. Some of the things those bears say or sing... It's amazing how attitudes and perspectives change over time.

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    1. One of our sons and his family live near Disney, too. In fact, he works at the corporate office. I'll have to check out the Country Bears when we go down later this year. (Thank GOODNESS attitudes and perspectives change over time!)

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  41. Like the picture of the guy sitting up in bed with his shirt and tie on. I don't think I've ever woken up gay though.

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    1. Hi-ya! Good to hear from you again.

      Ah, but it isn't just ANY tie... it's a Van Heusen. I guess they're so comfy a fella doesn't ever want to take 'em off.

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  42. Yeah, these "spots" are something else.

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  43. We went to the Alamo years ago before our son was supposed to be studying it and having a test. On the test they asked him which side won the Alamo. He said, "The West." Oh, dang.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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