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80 years of Vintage Celebrity Ads • • •

It takes more than talent to have a long career in Hollywood, and our beloved stars of past and present have turned to many a lucrative endorsement deal to pump up their incomes and their images. Selling everything from fur coats to furniture to face cream, many of these ads have shaped our popular culture and influenced trends for decades. 

Click on images to enlarge

Monday
Mar192012

Ed Sullivan, classy chap.

Ed Sullivan, television's consummate host, is the "Toast of the Town" when he serves Schenley Aged Whiskey. This 1949 ad swears that Ed only serves "finer-tasting Schenley... it's always richer, smoother and more enjoyable!"  I really wonder what he's serving it with. It's hard to tell if those are cherries or some other rubine fruit adorned with a twist of lemon, or orange, or whatever. I guess Schenley goes well with fruits. I'm in luck.

Monday
Mar192012

Hot man, hot car... SOLD! 

The number one search that sends traffic to this site is an ad of Tom Selleck selling Salem Cigarettes. And why wouldn't people be searching for Tom -  he's a hot hunka man. I know I'd buy whateve he's selling (even cigarettes!?) - especially back in the good old Magnum days. Who knew a mustache does a body so much good? In 1976, Dodge recruited Tom do do his thing with the Dodge Charger Daytona and featured him in this outdoorsy print ad.

Once you've taken a look at a 1976 Charger, you won't have eyes for anything else. Unless, of course, it's another '76 Charger. Because this year, when you've seen one Charger, you haven't seen them all.

Now there are four Chargers. There's Charger Daytona, Charger SE, Charger Sport, and Charger - a car you can get hooked on for under $4,000. So go see your Dodge dealer. We'll bet you'll drive away in a brand new Charger. Because once you've looked, you're hooked!

Not sure I noticed the car first, but regardless, I looked and I'm hooked! Good going, Dodge. 

Monday
Mar192012

The spell of Chanel, smells like 1960s ingenues.

Chanel beauties, Ali McGraw and Candice Bergen dare to go almost bare with nothing but their Chanel perfume accessories and their own timeless beauty. Bitches. The above 1966 ad leads you to believe you can cast the seductive spell of Chanel in your bath, assuming you look like the beguiling Ali, and your bath resembles the Playboy mansion grotto. That set of Chanel bath products sure is magical stuff! 

Candice (1967) prefers a modern ladylike approach with her pocket perfume spray and pearl earrings. You too can smell like that country club cutie who wouldn't give you the time of day except for the fact your boyfriend is a hot  caddie and drives a brand new Astin Martin. They sure will smell good when they ditch your party and depart in a smelly cloud of Chanel.

Monday
Mar192012

Is that cotton candy in your hair or are you just happy to see me? 

Lux is at it again with screen queen Janet Leigh offering her services for the luxury brand soap. This 1953 Women's Day ad helps promote her new musical "Walking my Baby Back Home" which I must assume has something to do with that delectable cotton candy she's holding. No? She's holding it because it's delectable? As delectable as "the most delectable complexions in Hollywood (that) are specially cared for with Lux Toilet Soap."

It's hard to find a screen star who doesn't use Lux. Janet Leigh, for example, has tried a lot of different soaps and still thinks Lux is the gentelest and (?). We think you'll believe in Lux care just like the stars do when you use it. Now we wouldn't and couldn't print this and give you a money-back guarantee, too, if it weren't true. So why not use Lux? And incidently, we hope you enjoy seeing the Holywood stars every Thursday night on the Lux Video Theater.

 I'm not even gonna go off on why they call it "toilet soap" - the soap to the stars... and the Janet Leigh's floating head likes it too. 

Monday
Mar192012

Every girl loves glamorous shoes...


Every girl loves glamorous shoes... and I suppose every girl loves comfortable stylish shoes too. I mean, a girl's gotta walk doesn't she? In those moments of practicality, Lucille Ball does her best to convince you that Summerettes are the shoes for you. This 1949 spot features stylish offerings perfect for land or shore... indoors, outdoors... sunning or shopping. Evidently these super shoes are also perfect when you find yourself tossing a salad atop a kitschy kitchen stool. Hey, it happens.

 Color— splashed merrily, fresh as spring flowers, fashionable as a Paris opening. no wonder women prefer and insist upon Summerettes by Ball-Bond— beautiful to look at, beautifully fitting, long wearing casuals. You'll find this eye-appealing assortment with their famous Duo-texture platforms and Air-lite soles— in complete wardrobe varietes— at better shoes and department stores everywhre. Don't delay too long. 

Fashionable as a Paris opening? Opening of the neighborhood playground in gay Pairee maybe. Anyway, this ad also promotes Lucy's upcoming movie ,Paramount's "Sorrowful Jones". How sorrowful must poor old Jones be, if she can't wear these sassy Summerettes? Wait, the movie's not about the shoes? Oh whatever.

Monday
Mar192012

Grooming tips from real men for Mennen - if you consider professional athletes real men.

Heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano knows from chin abuse, and he puts his money where his chin is in this 1963 print ad for Mennen afta shave. In his own words, "I kept 'takin it on the chin' from my razor - until I found new afta Mennen aftershave lotion that conditions... heals... protects..." The rest of the ad reads:

Great new formula soothes... zesty new scent stimulates! That's new afta - Mennen's no-sting aftershave that conditions dry and easily irritated skin, keeps it soft, pliable for easy shaving comfort day after day. New afta soothes razor rawness, helps heal nicks and cuts. Guards against sun, wind, chapping, too!

Once your face is smooth and smelling spiffy - then it's time to address the rest of one's body odors according to Sam Snead, famous golf champion. Mennen is introducing their descriptively named "Spray Deodorant" for men. Evidently it's so strong it works for three days! I don't care how easy it is to use, "Just Squeeze - It Sprays!", but I find it very hard to believe it's good for three days... I mean, golf isn't as physically demanding as, say, boxing, but it's still a sport...  

Whether you're out on the golf links or just working at your desk or machine, you're sure to perspire, says Sam Snead. That's why I always play safe with Mennen Spray Deodorant for men. It gives sure-fire protection and I like the masculine aroma. 

The spray deodorant made especially for Men! It's quicker, much easier to apply! Dries instantly, won't harm clothes! Contains PERMATEC  for longer lasting protection! You'll like its masculine aroma!

Well, according to the copywriters, that is some exciting deodorant! So many exclamation marks!! Anyways, what exactly is PERMATEC anyway? I'm not sure what it was in the 60s... but this is what it is now?

Monday
Mar192012

Play it again Sam...and again... and again...

Forty odd years after he spoke those iconic words, "Play it again Sam,"  Maxell video tapes co-opted Humphrey Bogart and his famous phrase to shill their superawesome video tapes. Back in 1983... if you wanted to watch Casablanca, chances are you caught the once-a-year late night offering on Friday night Classics, and taped it onto one of these beauties, commercials and all. Back before cable and Netflix, that's how we rolled. However, in 1983, these babies were hi-tech and according to Maxell "worth it." The ad reads - 

Every Maxell video tape is destined to become an old favorite. Becase as well as delivering a great performance, Maxell video tapes are designed to give you a lasting one. So try Maxell VHS or Beta. The video tape you'll appreciate more and more... as time goes by.

The great irony is that most of these tapes outlasted their relevancy. I have a box, or two, or three, of these suckers in my garage to prove it. Oddly enough, not a one of them has a recording of Casablanca... they're more likely to be chock full of music videos taped off of MTV's 120 minutes.