Advertising may get on your nerves in the here and now, but it can be a fascinating lens on how the world has changed. These ads from the 1930s-1950s show how advertising, and the world, has changed. Sometimes, but not always for the better. Spot the differences.
All images here are courtesy of the superb New York Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn.
1. People used to assume that advertising was supposed to be useful.
2. And in fact, advertisers used to see it as their duty to fund stuff that people loved (and used advertising to remind them of the fact they’d done it.)
3. The design of many ads used to be truly BEAUTIFUL.
4. Advertisers of the past were not afraid of wading into the gender war. (It’s a bit more subtle now, though no less pervasive.)
5. Health claims were not rigorously examined.
6. But you were at least allowed to acknowledge that salt tastes nice.