Category:
Advertising

Bus Rage

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A follow-up to the widely reported stabbing and decapitation that occurred recently on a Greyhound bus. (Reported here by Chuck Aug 1.)

In one of those moments of perfect timing that only occur in a weird universe, Greyhound has decided to pull its ad campaign that sported the boastful tagline: "There's a reason you've never heard of 'BUS RAGE'", because unfortunately now everyone has heard of that phenomenon. (Thanks, Gary!)

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 07, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Scary Criminals, Advertising

Magic Cheese Chips

They admit it's "decidedly unusual," but I think it would sure beat stuffing envelopes. "Simply drop into hot grease and they're ready to eat -- big, tasty, crispy, delicious!" Question: What makes them magic?

From the July, 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix. (via J-Walk)

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Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 05, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Food, 1930s

Pelmanism

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Old self-improvement schemes never die. Recently, I spotted this antique advertisement from 1954 that alerted me to the existence of Pelmanism, the brainchild of William Joseph Ennever.

The Pelman Institutes of England and America apparently once claimed over half a million followers. But now they're long gone. Yet that has not stopped at least two folks from trying to resurrect the copyright-abandoned mind-strengthening course and claim and market it as their own. You can see their pages here and here.

Oddly enough, the last vestige of Pelmanism most people know, without realizing its true origin, is the card game we call Concentration or Memory or Pairs.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 04, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Eccentrics, Fads, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Games, History, Historical Figure, New Age, Self-help Schemes

Bad Santas

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Jack-booted General Santa Claus delivers "ammunition" to the troops during WWI, courtesy of Whitman's. (Ephemera)


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Come on kiddies, Santa wants you to have some ciggies! (eBay)



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Santa's happy. Why? Because his tree is decorated with boxes of Chesterfield cigarettes. (Ptak Science Books)

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 03, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Advertising

Divorce Deli

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Minister Chuck points me toward the Divorce Deli. It remains a question as to whether pickles are extra.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 31, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Domestic, Divorce, Food

Follies of the Mad Men #7

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[From Fortune for December 1936. Two image files, click separately.]

Sniffles = Death.

Not the most subtle or believable of Madison Avenue appeals. Sure, in that pre-antibiotic age, pneumonia was deadly. But I can't imagine that the proportion of cold-sufferers who contracted pneumonia--at least among the affluent audience for Fortune--was any higher then than it is today. In other words, miniscule.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 31, 2008 - Comments (8)
Category: Business, Advertising, Insurance, Death, Family, Hygiene, Medicine, Couples

Follies of the Mad Men #6

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[From The Saturday Evening Post for January 29, 1966.]



Of course, the very first thing you'll load aboard your interstellar ship is a new Frigidaire. What's that you say? These women are not astronauts, but rather futuristic housewives, and the Fridge remains earthbound? Then why are they wearing those bubble helmets? Future pollution? But what about the helmet that features a cutout? And the slit glasses? If only the geniuses who created this ad were still around, we could ask them to explain....

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 29, 2008 - Comments (13)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Domestic, Fashion, Food, Futurism, Literature, Science Fiction, Travel, Space Travel

Kinder Surprise

This ad from the late 80s makes you wonder what they put in those Kinder chocolates besides toys. Maybe if you eat enough of the "Kinder Surprise" the humpty-dumpty guy will start to make sense. Me Scrooble Now. Whee!

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 22, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Advertising

Follies of the Mad Men #5

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[NOTE: this is actually two image files, upper and lower, and you need to click on each one for enlargement. From The Saturday Evening Post for October 23, 1965.]

Sorry I didn't get this one up in time for Fourth of July--but then again, WU hadn't debuted then!

In any case, this ad is very confused. It seems to be appealing to the mystical vibe of the ever-iconic American War of Independence, what with the flintlock pistol and all. But then again, Sexy Car-crawling Girl is patently an attempt to attract the Pepsi Generation, those wild 'n' wacky "rebellious" kids, with their surfboards and long hair and love beads.

So who's supposed to want to buy a Polara? Mom and Pop Daughters-of-the-American-Revolution? Or little Janie Peace-Sign?

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 22, 2008 - Comments (11)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Guns, History, Patriotism, 1960s, Cars

The Everywhere Girl

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You've probably seen this girl before, though you may not remember where. Her name is Jennifer Anderson, but she's more popularly known as the Everywhere Girl.

Her rise to ubiquity started a few years ago when she agreed to do a photo shoot for a stock-photo agency. She didn't get paid much. It was a royalty-free assignment. She posed around Reed College, pretending to be a college student (even though she had never been to college herself). It was a one-day assignment. At the time, she didn't think it was a big deal.

But for some reason, the images of her taken during that shoot became some of the most popular stock photos ever. They've been used by Gateway, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Visa, the BBC, the US Navy, Microsoft, Greyhound Bus Lines, numerous textbook publishers, as well as a whole host of other businesses. Whenever advertisers want an image of an attractive young college student, they seem to turn to Everywhere Girl.

Inquirer.net has been tracking her appearances for years. The Idee Blog has many examples of ads that have used her image. She also has her own blog. And Getty has the images of her from the original photo shoot. Finally, she was recently discussed in an article in Slate about "the weird science of stock photography."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 18, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Advertising

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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