If TV has taught us anything it’s that people love nostalgia and retro adverts fall right into the category. You might be able to get your fix of 1950’s adverts by watching the latest Mad Men series, but there’s so much more on offer than Don Draper’s nefarious designs.
The Vintage Ad Browser exists as a curation of amazing adverts from the last century and beyond, masterfully looked after by Philip Lessen who collects ads from all sources- scanned comic books, submissions, and more. Currently there are over 123,311 ads available to pour over, and all will bring you back to forgotten eras, from insanity in the 90’s to crazy alcohol and cigarette slogans from yesteryear. Some is offensive, a fair amount is sexist but above all it’s a priceless experience and you’ll find yourself wasting hours at work as you go through their archive. I’m very entertained by their Got Milk advert series (see above) as I never knew that Jackie Chan had been an advocate, and the celebs featured range from Elton John to Lauren Bacall and Britney Spears!
Here are a few of my favourite vintage ads- I’d love to know yours.
Gay Bob Doll in 1970- A rather racy toy!
1890 Medicine Ad- Pinks Pills for Pale People. Hmm.
Lucky Strikes Ad from 1930– advocating cigarettes over cough drops
Daisy Air Rifles- every juvenile delinquent should have a gun replica…
Little Katie Chewing tobacco from 1890. Why shouldn’t kids encourage you to smoke?
1890 French Corset ad
I did warn you that some of these would make you raise your eyebrows!
Check out more great vintage ads at Vintage Ad Browser.