Mad Men (and the women they loved)

Don Draper: “What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.”

Ah, the ’60s were great, weren’t they? Doris Day, clean-cut all-American astronauts, Mitch MIller, Look magazine... How we all long for that joy-filled, unpretentious time. Let’s take a look back at that wonderful era as seen through the lens of our advertising media. What were we selling ourselves? What did we want?

Don Draper: “Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.”

Oh, to go back to that simpler time when all of life's problems could be solved by merely possessing a garbage disposal and choosing the right liquid dish detergent. "You're soaking in it."  Remember that one?  Madge, the manicurist.  That ad campaign was so dumb it offended my eight-year-old sensibility, and that's pretty bad considering what eight-year-olds are willing to put up with.

Don Draper: “Let me ask you something, what do woman want?”
Roger Sterling: “Who cares?”

Here is a collection of print ads from the 1960s, when the Madison Avenue advertising executives made no attempt to hide or even apologize for their chauvinsim -- they didn't even realize they were cave-dwelling misogynists.  But I am looking forward to this season of Mad Men.

See if you can spot the fake ad. The winner gets a bottle of Midol.

Salvatore Romano: “So we're supposed to believe that people are living one way and secretly thinking the exact opposite? That's ridiculous.”





it's daring
it's audacious
it's the bolder look in shirts...

Van Heusen shirts

The copy reads...
“You never know what results you’ll get until you try!”

You get the idea: Spank the redhead (she likes it, she likes it), kiss the blond and have the brunette adore the manly you in your Van Heusen shirt.






Wives...
Dormeyer appliances

The copy reads...
"Look this ad over carefully. Circle the items you want for Christmas. Show it to your husband. If he does not go to the store immediately, cry a little. Not a lot. Just a little. He'll go, he'll go."

Well girls, here are your choices: A stand mixer, automatic toaster, coffee maker, waffle maker, electric skillet, deep fryer, hand mixer, electric can opener, water pot, and a hair dryer. Merry Christmas.






Should a gentleman offer a Tiparillo to a violinist?
Tiparillo cigars

The copy reads...
"After a tough evening with the Beethoven crowd, she loves to relax and listen to her folk-rock records. Preferably, on your stereo. Well? Should you offer? After all, if she likes the offer, she might start to play. No strings attached."

Oh, excuse me, I can’t comment on this one right now because I’m listening to my folk-rock records, smoking a cigar and, well, let’s move on...






Keep her where she belongs...
I'm guessing it's an ad for those ugly shoes?

I know, you see yourself in this ad, don’t you..?






Unfortunately, the trickiest deodorant problem a girl has isn't under her pretty little arms...
Pristeen feminine hygiene deodorant

The copy reads...
"The real problem, as you very well know, is how to keep the most girl part of you -- fresh and free of any worry-making odors. It's just essential to your cleanliness and your peace of mind about being a girl. An attractive, nice-to-be-with-girl."

I’ve finally figured out how to be an attractive, nice-to-be-with-girl. Thank you Pristeen.







Is it always illegal to KILL a woman?
Pitney-Bowes postage meters

In this ad, the guy's upset because his secretary can't figure out how to mail a letter?

Oh, and yes Mr. Upset Businessman, no progress. Some forty-odd-years later and it’s still always illegal...






Your Guy: Your No. 1 reason for Midol...
Midol pain reliever

The copy reads...
"Be the you he likes. Good to be around, any day of the month. When you feel good you're good to be around. So use Midol. You've got a beautiful reason."

Husband ran out of the house for a few bottles.






It's nice to have a girl around the house...
Mr. Leggs slacks

The copy reads...
"Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn't have to fire a shot to floor her. After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready to have him walk all over her."

I, um, just don’t know how to comment on this one... Where’s my Midol?







O-O-OH Santa -- I just love that Microsheen shine..!
Griffen Microsheen satin boot polish

The copy reads...
"Miss Microsheen, and every other slick chick, recognize quality when they see it."

What a Christmas gift: On her knees under the Christmas tree. Well she’s wrapped, sort’a.






I dreamed I took the cue in my Maidenform bra...
Maidenform bras

The copy reads...
“...shapes and supports your figure naturally

Don’t you want to be her?






She'll want to thank you three times a day...
ISE garbage disposals

The copy reads...
"The one gift that frees the little woman from disagreeable trips to the garbage can. The In-Sink-Erator Saturn. She'll thank you every time she uses it."

Now she finally has time for her little black dress and double-strand of matched 16mm pearls. I’m holding out for a Dormeyer stand mixer.






If your husband ever finds out...
Chase & Sanborn coffee

The copy reads...
"If he discovers you're still taking chances on getting flat, stale coffee ...woe be unto you!"

Note the smile upon her face; maybe I’ll take my chances. (Husband’s favorite. He likes his coffee.)




The cover illustration “Deluxe Joan Doll - Season I” is from Dyna Moe's wonderful "Mad Men Illustrated."

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