It's hard not to write a political piece when I see this ad. Now we know the substance of the ad is a flat out lie, but when this ran in Look magazine in January 13, 1953 the general public trusted corporations. We'd just come through horrendous years of war and certainly the military wouldn't have been giving our military personal products that would harm them, would they? Get them addicted to nicotine so once back in the civilian world they'd continue to smoke and smoke and.... A pack of cigarettes with your K-rations was patriotic, wasn't it? A tobacco farmer in South Carolina certainly wouldn't be in an ad touting the scientific evidence of the product without being sure of the validity of the statement, would he? Did he say it just for the cash?
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Things haven't really changed. Though the general public now knows the tobacco industry lies it's only now realizing so do banks. Will there be ads 50 years from now collected as ephemera showing how fast and easy it was to buy a house you could't afford with no money down?
This ad, simply as graphic design, is hitting with all cylinders. The headline at the top in red blasting its way into your brain, the photo of the rugged looking businessman (who to me looks like someone out of a mob film), the product placement, and the final closing line touting the products name and reason it's the one you should buy. The "scientific facts" are secondary to all of it and I imagine the fine print was rarely read. This ad, on the back of the magazine, was meant to be read at a distance with just certain points highlighted.
More people should remember two old adages:
A fool and his money are soon parted.Sometimes it all just feels a bit like we've been living in the Twilight Zone.