10 Nov 2011

The Good Old Days

[DISCLAIMER: This post is loaded with embedded Youtube videos]

Occasionally when I get bored on the Internet, I look at old commercials. Of course that's after I get bored of present-day videos on Youtube, but the same platform also contains a wealth of vintage commercials that serve as a window into the past(even before my birth!). Some reflect just how much simpler life was compared to now; some showed how little people knew then; some gave an insight on the past culture and background of the intended audience. It's like a really simple form of archaeology that deals with a way more recent time period.

Back in the 60s people didn't really know about the dangers of smoking(it could be argued that cigarettes of that time were made less toxic though), so there were lots of advertisements encouraging people to smoke, even claiming that doctors recommend it for good health!

Companies even went as far as to use family cartoons to convince the public to smoke, as seen in these Flintstone advertisements. Surely something that would be highly objected today:

And back then it wasn't weird to pair up smoking with Christmas spirit:

There are also other commercials that would be classified today as "nightmare fuel", i.e. content that we today would find disturbing and creepy, enough to give nightmares. Take this super old McDonald's commercial featuring a much less visually appealing Ronald:

And here's a commercial for a doll that you'd NEVER want to sleep with in a bedroom alone at night:

But there are commercials that are unexpectedly entertaining, for instance this 60s Barbie advertisement with a rap!

I came across commercials about products that as far as I know don't exist anymore, like 7UP Gold(what does that taste like???):

...or another drink called the Crystal Pepsi:

Back then advertising also tended to be more agressive than today, explicitly poking fun at rivals. For example, the classic "Genesis Does" commercial:

...and this Burger King commercial attacking a popular competitor:

Still, there are also companies who choose to go with simple heartwarming ads like this Oreo commercial:

Obviously there are too many view-worthy vintage commercial videos for me to cram into this one post, unless you can handle the super long loading times. So go on and look online for other commercials that bring you back to the past. You may discover the almost forgotten history of today's products, learn the luxuries that older generations had, and maybe come across a few ads that were striking to you as childhood memories :)