Douglas Aircraft, DC-8, “The World’s Most Romantic Jetliner” (1960)
Illustration by Mike Ludlow
When I was a little girl, the only soda I would drink (other people called it “pop,” but I couldn’t,) was 7-Up. I hated all the fruity things, root beer gave me a headache, and I thought Coke and Pepsi were cloying, though I probably wouldn’t have used that word. Dr Pepper is delicious to me as an adult, but I didn’t like it back then, either. Sprite was no good; it was a sticky 7-Up wannabe.
So it delights me to collect the 7-Up ads from my babyhood. There are a few others in the blog, back a-ways.
Well, this one is from before I was born…
In the mid-late 60s, 7-Up ads were always sort of alive, to me. They matched the product very well, I think. But I’d drink only the original version now, as I find the HFCS to be metallic on the tongue and phlegmy in the throat.
This stuff here was as crisp and sharp as the photo indicates, and clean on the throat.
It might not surprise you that I could never drink the soda out of a can or bottle (they were all glass then, children!) and insisted on a glass. There was a soda around briefly in the late 80s called Rondo that I could drink from the can, but it didn’t last long. When I was a teenager, I discovered Pellegrino, and then that was the only sparkling drink I enjoyed until I rediscovered Dr Pepper about 25 years ago. (Yes, I am that old.)
Anyway. Always a bit fussy, but only about certain things. :-)
I like to think about how TV shows were initially produced just to sell advertising. Okay, that’s glossing over the story a bit, but in general, it’s so. Well, it began with radio, of course. Advertisers wanted to sell Lux soap flakes or whatever, so they’d put on a 15 minute show for you, and in the middle of it, the star of the show would glorify suds.
I mean, in case you never really got it, that’s why Fred Flintstone told your parents which cigarettes to buy. Winston was paying for a very big chunk of the show.
This is from the Dec. 4, 1964 edition of LIFE magazine. Isn’t it fun to think of Donna Reed giving out sewing machines and transistor radios and phonographs for Christmas? They’d all be wrapped in the same exact shiny, shiny paper, with big beautiful bows attached at the gift wrap department, of course.
Do you remember the gift wrap department? But I assure you, there was such a thing. You’d bring the things you bought from various departments at Macy’s or other stores up to this room near customer service and the bathrooms, and they’d wrap em all there for you. You could come back later for them if you wanted to. All year round. I mean, sure, you can still have your purchases wrapped at many stores. But it isn’t at all the same thing.
There are still Singer stores, here and about. But they’re not the same thing at all these days, either. Nothing is. Maybe that’s why every time someone produces a “new” Christmas song it’s such a lame or tortured failure.
When this song was written in 1950, sure, it was idealistic. However. It was rooted in a very different reality than the one we now share.
And now, boys and girls, you know why old people act a little bitter sometimes. But we should all understand that statement, “There is nothing new under the sun,” was written 3,000 years ago. :-)
I’ve shared a number of ads from the October 8 issue of LIFE. It’s a pretty interesting issue otherwise, as well, because it teaches you how to make beans and cassoulet, and about Hawaii, and something or other about China that I forget, and there’s this very touching article about a guy searching for his brother in Vietnam.
I gotta get some new issues; I keep reading the same ones over and over again!
Anyway. Was belt-tightening on the minds of the people?
This is a nice approach, though I question the model choice. They’re like, “We’ve got this, okay?” And they don’t really apologize for not playing to the single malt crowd.
These people were playing to their own choir; just keeping their hand in, to mix up some metaphors into one awkward cocktail. They want you to think of yourself as the guy holding the glass. He’s got class, but also sense. I, in fact, don’t want you to think of yourself as that guy, because he looks like he’d seduce you with gentle words, then tie you up with a plastic clothesline so he can spank you while complaining about his mother.
Apparently you can mix up stuff from Minnesota, put the name of a different country on the label, and proudly proclaim you’ve nailed Kentucky tradition. Because of the water there. Dude, they got limestone in New York, too. (And that is actually partly why their drinking water is freaking delicious.) But anyway, it’s just ridiculous over-the-top ad copy, and if Orson Welles had read it, he’d have slapped these people down but good. Just say it’s as cheap as your tonic water and be done with it. Serving up a TV dinner on the good china fools nobody. Speaking of which…
Gosh, honey, how did you make each one look so perfectly identical?
To digress for a moment, have you ever looked into the history of why mass-produced American beer tastes like such utter crap?
They tried desperately for years to get American women to drink more beer, so they watered it down, sometime after World War II, I forget the details. I think Budweiser was the first. They were all, man, people think we’re still German even though that was our great-grandparents who are all dead now. How do we sell more beer? And so. In the 50s & 60s, they tried to appeal to women. (If you’re old enough, you know who they turned their attention to in the 70s…)
It didn’t work fantastically at first, so they sort of repackaged the product to make it seem “special,” so women would want to drink it as something unique. All that really happened was alcoholics like my dad drank even more of it than before, because it took half a case to get the buzz going. Well done, Schlitz and company!
Back on the flipside of the economy coin, Remington laughed and said, “Plebeians.”
“Keep drinking your single malt and shave with this, Mr. Telephony Engineer. Chicks will want to touch you.”
Everyone else was a bit confused by the ad copy and started using disposables.