Category:
Advertising

Follies of the Mad Men #3

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[This image comes from Playboy for July 1980.]

Let's suppose that you're a magazine named Playboy that encourages its readers to believe they can have lots of sex if they follow the advice of the magazine. Then you create another magazine in your empire called Games. You decide to advertise the latter in the former. And the theme of your ad is that anyone who reads the new magazine will not want sex anymore, even when a nubile young woman is thrusting herself upon the reader.

This is where your head should explode.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 15, 2008 - Comments (6)
Category: Business, Advertising, Games, Magazines, Sexuality, 1980s

Amazonian Miracle for Sale!

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If only you had been reading Popular Mechanics magazine for February 1929! Then you could have purchased the same Purple Ray healing device that Wonder Woman uses! Okay, so it was a "Violet Ray." Same difference, right?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 14, 2008 - Comments (15)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, History, Inventions, Medicine, Science, Technology, Comics, 1920s

Follies of the Mad Men #2


[From The Saturday Evening Post for December 16, 1967]

Whenever you put a giant woman in a skirt next to normal-sized people, the inevitable first thought engendered in the viewer is, "Can I see up her dress?" In this instance, the second thought is: "Is she going to pick up that car and use it as a marital aid?"

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 12, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Business, Advertising, Giant People in Ads, Products, Fashion, Obsessions, Fetishes, Sexuality, Cars

Wrinkled Head Commercial

This is a Japanese TV commercial for COSMO Securities. It reminds me of the artwork of Giuseppe Arcimboldo -- if Arcimboldo were to have made his heads out of human bodies rather than food. (via 3yen)

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 10, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Advertising

Obama Lincoln

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Check out this new portrait from famed painter Ron English, and read what happened in Boston when it was recently displayed.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 09, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Business, Advertising, Government, Officials, History, Historical Figure, Politics

A Month of Spam

McAfee recently released the results of its S.P.A.M. experiment, which stands for "Spammed Persistently All Month." Fifty subjects volunteered to expose themselves to a month of intensive spamming.

When I first noticed this headline, I imagined some kind of Ludovician Aversion Therapy experiment -- subjects strapped into chairs, eyes taped open, forced to view endless screens of spam until they started drooling and screaming for it to stop.

Unfortunately, the experiment wasn't that colorful. Instead, the subjects were simply "given permission to go where most Internet users would not dare, in order to discover how much spam they would attract and what the effects would be." I'm guessing this means they signed up with AOL.

The result: "the participants from 10 countries received more than 104,000 spam e-mails throughout the course of the experiment. That's 2,096 messages each - the equivalent of approximately 70 messages a day."

That surprised me. I thought they'd get a LOT more spam. I estimate my spam filter traps at least 70 messages a day, and I'm not trying to get the stuff like they were.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 09, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Advertising, Experiments

Foo Kin Chinese Food

My pal Pete Kaplan stumbled across this one. Who knew that up in Cooperstown, NY, they had such pronounced Liverpudlian accents?

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Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 09, 2008 - Comments (7)
Category: Business, Advertising, Food, Restaurants, Weird Names

Selling Ice to Eskimos

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Darren McEwen alerted me to this photograph (from 1943) currently featured in National Geographic's Flashback section. He notes that it looks like a guy trying to sell a refrigerator to eskimos. Actually, the women are Bolivian cholitas, not eskimos. The caption explains:

Urban cholitas have little to do with popular beliefs of a timeless, unchanging indigenous culture," explains American University anthropology professor Lesley Gill. Today, "they are urban born and frequently well-to-do. They make their money primarily from commerce, and their style of dress expresses a dynamic, expensive, and completely modern sense of Aymara femininity. Many hats come from Italy, for example," Gill notes, "and nowadays the cloth for their skirts comes from Korea.


If you want a real picture of a guy selling ice to eskimos, here's legendary pr stuntster Jim Moran in 1938, bundled in furs up in Alaska with an icebox, trying to make the aphorism a reality. (Photo from Mark Borkowski's Improperganda.)

Moran's most infamous stunt was when he tried to tie midgets to kites and fly them over Central Park. His idea was that the midgets would carry billboards on which he would sell advertising space. When the police told him he wasn't allowed to do it, he remarked, "It's a sad day for American capitalism when a man can't fly a midget on a kite over Central Park."

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 08, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Business, Advertising

Follies of the Mad Men #1

Madison Avenue! Home to brilliant, canny advertising geniuses, who can convince millions of people to buy or believe anything! And then again, even Homer nodded.

Yes, it's true. Back in 1962, some genius of a press agent thought the image of the National Rifle Association could be improved by creating a cartoon spokesman who would offer rhymed messages about not accidentally offing your friends.

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Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 07, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Guns, NGOs

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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.

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