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Vintage Ads From America

Part 3: The 1960s

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VW Beetle 1960s
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Vintage Ads From America - Part 3: The 1960s

In parts one and two of this three part series, we looked at the1940s and 1950s, and a small sampling of the advertising that came out of the US in those two decades. Now, in this final chapter, we turn our eye to the 1960s.

Will the swinging sixties, civil rights, free love and the women's bring a change to the tonality of the advertising? Lets start by looking at some of the major events happening in the United States during that decade.

The Vietnam War - Although it started in 1955, the US involvement in the Vietnam War escalated dramatically in the 1960s. Troop levels tripled in 1961, and tripled again in 1962. And in 1965, the US was all in. It was an unpopular war, with many thousands of American soldiers being killed every year. Its impact on the US still remains to this day, and the war became a focal point for many musicians and moviemakers of the period, including Oliver Stone.

The Apollo Moon Landing - July 20th, 1969. Perhaps the most defining moment in the history of the human race, as Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. The space race was officially won by the US, and everyone has NASA fever. Now, anything is possible.

The JFK Assassination - Another date in US history, remembered for all the wrong reasons, is November 22nd, 1963. President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed, some say by Lee Harvey Oswald, others by a conspiracy. However you look at it, his shooting was a turning point in American politics and the Vietnam War, and a nation mourned an icon.

The British Invasion - In 1964, a little pop group called The Beatles conquered America, and began the mass-hysteria known as Beatlemania. The US couldn't get enough of this Fab Four, and it began something called The British Invasion, which included bands like The Animals, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Who.

The Women's Movement - Although women had been fighting for equality for some time, it came to prominence in the 1960s when the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded. Seeking an end to sexual discrimination, it was the beginning of major changes in US employment laws.

The Civil Rights Movement - Like the women's movement, the Civil Rights Movement has been working against oppression for decades. But it was in the 1960s that it came to a head. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became a prominent leader of the movement, and both Malcolm X and the Black Panthers became household names.

It was clearly a volatile time, and a decade of great change and turbulence. With so much progress being made in so many important areas, did the advertising of the time reflect that? Well, yes, and no. This was the era of Doyle Dane Bernbach after all. But some agencies were definitely stuck in the past. Let's take a look at a sample of ads from the 1960s.

"THINK SMALL" - Volkswagen

(an ad that was a game changer for the whole industry - awesome)

"BLOW IN HER FACE AND SHE'LL FOLLOW YOU ANYWHERE."

(image of a man blowing smoke in a woman's face)

- Tipalet Cigarettes

"KEEP HER WHERE SHE BELONGS..."

(image of a woman lying next to a man's shoe)

- Client Unknown (for obvious reasons now)

"WHEN YOU'RE ONLY NO. 2, YOU TRY HARDER. OR ELSE."

(Another timeless DDB ad…most companies are not that brave even today)

- Avis

"MOO-CHE-WE-IN-ES. PALE FACE, MY SKIN IS DARK BUT MY HEART IS WHITE. FOR I ALSO GIVE TO CANADIAN PATRIOTIC FUND."

(Image of a Native American holding money)

- Canadian Patriotic Fund

"YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE JEWISH TO LOVE LEVY'S REAL JEWISH RYE."

(DDB again! Images of different races enjoying great bread)

- Levy's

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