Looking back on the last century, it is quite easy to say that “times have changed.”
Nowhere is this more evident than with the way we advertise for products.
One look at ads from the past, and it is easy to see that the products — and the ways we sold those products — were much different back then.
And while we often look back on these times fondly, some of these vintage advertisements were quite awkward, and often even inappropriate. In fact, it’s hard not to laugh at just how jarring and offensive these ads would be to nearly everyone nowadays!
Scroll through for a hilarious look back at the vintage ads that most people would find quite inappropriate today. Times may have changed, but these ads just go to show that sometimes change is for the better.
Which of these totally inappropriate vintage advertisements surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!
[H/T Sad And Useless, Bored Panda, Business Insider]
This ad for Schlitz Beer, from the 1950s, shows a husband consoling his crying wife. She may have burned dinner, but at least she “didn’t burn the Schlitz!”
This 7-Up ad from 1955 depicts a young baby drinking a soda. The text beneath the ad reads, “This young man is 11 months old — and he isn’t our youngest customer by any means.”
This surprising ad from VW shows a car that has clearly been in an accident. The ad boasts that their parts are cheap to replace in the event of a fender bender.
The text below begins, “Women are soft and gentle, but they hit things.”
This vitamin ad is quite overtly sexist, saying, “So the harder a wife works, the cuter she looks!”
The ad even doubles-down on this with, “Gosh, honey, you seem to thrive on cooking, cleaning and dusting…”
This Gillette poster shows a baby trying to shave with one of their razors, accompanied by the catchphrase, “Begin early, shave yourself.”
This cigarette ad from the 1940s proclaims, “According to a recent national survey: more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”
This Cellophane poster depicts a newborn baby being delivered inside of plastic wrap, claiming, “The best things in life come in Cellophane.”
Sexist ads seem to have been a staple of the time, with this 1970s poster proudly proclaiming, “It’s nice to have a girl around the house.”
This poster from the 1950s reads, “Before you scold me, Mom… maybe you’d better light up a Marlboro.”
This shocking add for sweaters reads, “Men are better than women! Indoors, women are useful — even pleasant. On a mountain they are something of a drag.”
This ad dates all the way back to the late-1800s, and it proclaims that cocaine toothache drops provide an “instantaneous cure!”
This Tipalet ad from the 1960s encourages men to blow smoke in women’s faces to attract them. They write, “Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.”
This not-so-subtle vintage ad proclaims that men can “keep her where she belongs” by giving her a new pair of shoes.
This 1920s soap ad makes the claim, “Most men ask ‘Is she pretty?’ not ‘Is she clever?'”
These inappropriate vintage ads run the gamut from mildly uncomfortable, to awkward, to offensive.
Which of these real, but ridiculous ads surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments.
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