You know vintage commercials. Those delightful relics of a time gone by when gender stereotypes were rampant, racial insensitivity was the norm, and smoking was not only socially acceptable but downright fashionable.
Truly, a golden age of advertising.
Click HERE if you want to check out 80s vintage perfume ads. Click HERE for the best Super Bowl ads.
Ads sexualized women and objectified them as nothing more than eye candy. Then there are the ones that perpetuated harmful racial stereotypes.
Vintage commercials were a masterclass in inappropriate messaging.
Who can forget the iconic Marlboro Man, the rugged cowboy who convinced millions of impressionable young men that smoking was the epitome of masculinity?
Or the “charmingly” sexist ads that told women they could only be happy and fulfilled if they had the latest household gadget or cleaning product?
And let’s not forget the cringe-worthy commercials that shamelessly promoted unhealthy and dangerous products.
Who needs seatbelts when you can drive a car with “power brakes” and “power steering”? And why bother with healthy eating when you can have a sugary bowl of cereal for breakfast?
Yes, vintage commercials were truly a sight to behold.
But let’s be honest, they were also a product of their time. They reflected the values and attitudes of the society in which they were created, and while that doesn’t excuse their inappropriate content, it does help us understand why they were so prevalent.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since the days of inappropriate vintage commercials. Advertising has become more diverse, inclusive, and socially responsible, and companies are increasingly held accountable for the messages they put out into the world.
But let’s not forget the lessons of the past. Let’s use these vintage commercials as a reminder of how far we’ve come, and how much further we still have to go.