11 Classic 1960s Ads The Likes Of Which You Will Never See Again
Racism. Sexism. Violence. Child Abuse. Blasphemy. What a time to be alive.
It was a decade of turbulence. It was the decade of the creative revolution in advertising. Many of these commercials were created by Doyle Dane Bernbach.
1. Laura Scudder potato chips
Travel back to the early 1960s and out to the western States for 60 seconds of adorable brilliance. This kid, taking a Noise Abatement Pledge, was just amazing as was the voiceover guy. Scudder chips were very crunchy, very noisy. So, before eating the chips, the boy had to promise not to do other noisy things like “crack my knuckles”, “encourage dogs to bark or cats to meow”, and “slurp my soap”.
Maybe the best potato chip ad ever? Ad agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach.
2. Heinz pickles
1965. Soggy pickles. An annoyance to you and me. Go-time for this fuming lady, who subsequently beats the living shit out of the entire restaurant staff. Note the quivering hand handing her a bottle of Heinz. Ad agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach.
3. Hawaiian Punch
1964. “How bout a nice Hawaiian Punch?” I loved Hawaiian Punch when I was a youngster. It was not very “juicy”, a lot of sugar, of course. Maybe the sugar crashes were what made “Punchy” so violent. But you definitely remembered the product name. Ad agency: Atherton-Privett.
4. American Tourister luggage
The “Gorilla” campaign started airing in the late 1960s. This was the first spot, which seems to have featured a real gorilla. Follow-up spots used a man in a gorilla suit. It certainly sold the luggage as durable, yes? One big problem with the campaign: Many people associated the gorilla ads with American Tourister’s #1 competitor, Samsonite. This occasionally happens with good campaigns: The creative concept overshadows the brand. Ad agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach.
5. Cracker Jack
Broadway actor Jack Gilford was the face of the brand in the 1960s. Here, he commits theft and child abuse. Kid had it coming, though. Ad agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach.
1967. Combine stripper music with Swedish model Gunilla Knudsen and males (OK, and lesbians) didn’t hit the head or the fridge when this spot came on. Also: the fakest shave in the history of fake ad shaves. Ad agency: William Etsy.
7. Braniff Airlines
Continuing with the stripping theme, this “Air Strip” ad was part of a Braniff campaign tagged “The End Of The Plain Plane”—created by the great Advertising Hall Of Fame copywriter Mary Wells. Sexist? Sex sold in the 60s. Wells started her own agency, Wells Rich Greene, when she was 38. She was the first female ad CEO and first female CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. She was as good as any and better than most of the Mad Men.
8 American Motors (AMC)
1967. It’s a modern Noah selling how roomy the AMC station wagon was. Imagine the apoplectic 2022 evangelical response to this ad. Ad agency: Wells Rich Greene.
9. Colt .45 malt liquor
It’s 1960, well before Billy Dee Williams and his date-rapey sign-off “works every time”. This was a epic product intro. The tension is built dramatically as our hero waits for his damn drink. Here’s a follow-up spot where the man waits patiently in the middle of an air strip. Ad agency: W.B. Doner.
10. Alka Seltzer
1969, one of the most famous ads of all time, featuring actor Jack Somack and his fake Italian accent. You do feel his gastrointestinal pain as he flubs take after take. It sold a shit-ton of Alka Seltzer. Ad agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach.
11. Fritos corn chips
Lastly, there’s Fritos—a brand started in 1932 in San Antonio, Texas. In the mid-1960s, they launched a campaign featuring a caricature of a Mexican criminal dubbed the Frito Bandito—voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny, etc). The campaign, now considered one of the most racist in ad history, was ended in 1971. Ad agency: Foote Cone & Belding.