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Category — Vintage Ads

The Folly of Futurism: What Will Michael Jackson Look Like in the Year 2000?

or WTFuturism?


I love speculation about the future, mostly because it usually goes so wrong. For instance, in 1985, Ebony Magazine published an article called “Portraits of the Stars: What They May Look Like in the Year 2000“. In it, they commissioned an artist named Nathan Wright to depict what he thinks “today’s” (1985′s) artists would look like in the year 2000. The best part… Michael Jackson. Read on for the pictures:
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July 17, 2009   2 Comments

TAG Heuer’s complete “Duel” ad pits Steve McQueen against Lewis Hamilton: Everyone Loses

TAG Heuer recently ran an ad campaign for their Monaco brand watch. It was a contest to guess the winner of the above “Duel” between two important figures in the history of the Monaco series, Steve McQueen and Lewis Hamilton. The contest officially closed on June 10th, 2009. Apparently, it’s been one of TAG Heuer’s most popular online contests ever.

According to TAG Heuer, Lewis Hamilton won the Duel… but I don’t think anyone wins with this ad. They sliced up the original footage from the Steve McQueen 1971 film Le Mans to shoehorn his image into the ad, and then used a poor quality voice actor that sounds nothing like him to dub over his lines. Ironically though, McQueen’s shoehorn/voiced over performance is better than Lewis Hamilton’s actual performance. And McQueen’s been dead for almost 30 years. Overall, the ad is fairly lame on that level. Still, it has racing footage, so I can’t call it all bad. Check out the full version:
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June 30, 2009   Comments Off

Squeal, Boy: Swine Flu PSAs

Swine Flu public service announcements from 1976.

In 1976, one single army recruit died from the so-called Swine Flu. People panicked, the government panicked. After the dust cleared, the government had wasted hundreds of millions of dollars, and there were over 500 people crippled for life via Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) caused by the vaccine. Also, the vaccine killed more people than the flu did.

Government is more dangerous than Swine flu. Don’t panic.

April 28, 2009   Comments Off

How Accurate Were AT&T’s “You Will” Ads From 1993

AT&T had a series of commercials back in 1993 that had examples of some of the cool new technologies that the company had hoped to develop in the future. The ad agency that did the commercials must have had a professional futurist working for them, because they were strikingly accurate.

It’s now 15 years later, lets see how well they did:
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March 4, 2009   Comments Off

Goodbye Innocence: Sasch SHS’s Beautifully Done Safari Ad


Italian fashion line Sasch SHS Teen Clothes has what may be my favorite new-ish ad in it’s “Goodbye Innocence” campaign. They show Safari Girl and Safari Boy in some far off hunting expedition, coming of age, with the various carcasses of their childhood sensibilities set about as trophies.

Not only is this one of the most aesthetically perfect ads I’ve seen in a long time, it’s powerful as well. Not that many teenagers would really be affected by the message, but it’s there nonetheless. This print campaign was actually listed in the finalists for the outdoor category at the London International Awards 2008, with Safari Girl winning a Gold statue in the print category, rightfully so. It’s just so beautiful and perfectly executed. The style and the colors and the look and feel, everything works. I only wish I were in the market for teen clothes.

Check out the the full sized versions of both Safari Girl and Safari Boy:
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December 27, 2008   Comments Off

The Psychology of Magic, Mediums, Politics, and Advertising


Magic and advertising are both deeply rooted in manipulation, and exploiting knowledge of human psychology. One of the most important aspects of the magician’s trade is manipulating the spectators choice while at the same time tricking that spectator into thinking they willingly made the choice. Derren Brown is a master of that particular trick. Check out some Derren Brown videos at the bottom of this post.

Ironically, that type of manipulation plays a huge part in advertising as well. In fact, magicians, politicians, advertisers and mediums are all essentially doing the same thing, the difference lies in their levels of honesty. The magician is usually the only honest one.
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October 22, 2008   1 Comment

The Alfa Romeo Logo: What’s With The Man-Eating Snake?


The Alfa Romeo badge has a very heraldic, ancient feel to it. Very classy. But what does it mean, and why the hell does it have a giant snake eating a man?

Well, the owners of Alfa Romeo (originally called A.L.F.A. for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, which is translated as Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company) wanted a logo that was associated with the city of Milan, so they used symbols that Milan had used since the Crusades. The red cross is typical Christian symbol of medieval heraldry and used extensively throughout the crusaides. Back then, seeing a bunch of guys with red crosses painted on them didn’t mean “medic”, it meant: Run for your life.

The man in the serpents mouth is a bit more controversial. It’s a symbol called a biscione, and the man in the image is alternatively described as a child (the modern interpretation) or a Saracen or Moor (aka: a Muslim). So the whole serpent motif is all about the Christians Crusaders’ defeat of the infidels. Yeah, pretty strange.
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October 13, 2008   13 Comments

The Furry Love Rug – You’ll Never Go Back To An Ordinary Bed Again


PopCrunch has this odd advertisement for the Love Rug, which was a perfect example of 1970s freakiness. Made of polyester, of course, the advertisement offers it as an inanimate object to complete the threesome you’ve always dreamed of.

Heres the complete text of the ad:
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October 5, 2008   1 Comment