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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

Saturday
Jan142012

Class it up with some Lady Baltimore Luggage.

Who's the glamorous traveler with the beautiful luggage? Like you have to ask? It's moi sporting my Lady Baltimore luggage just like America's best dressed women Ginger Rogers, Dana Wynter, Jane Powell and Cyd Charisse in this 1965 print ad. A real lady wouldn't be caught dead walking the Pan Am corridor with anything less than her powder pink Overnight case (only $12.95!) Just throw on your fur coat, snappy suit and coordinate with your best fashion luggage, ladies. It's the only way to travel! If you don't believe me, read it for yourself:

Who's the glamorous traveler with the beautiul luggage? It's you - on a weekend, long holiday or business jaunt - and your flattering Lady Baltimore, of course. You find this is luggage with a luxury look... but a common sense price. you satisfy your fashion flair with plushly lined interiors, polshed brass trim. you display your individuality by choosing from seven rich colors. And you see the practicality of washable vinyl covering that shuns scuffs and stains on luggage that weights little, wears long... and comes in nine sizes for every travelling ned. For FREE illustrated brochure and name of the Lady Baltimore dealer in your area, write: The Baltimore Luggage Company, Dept. 19, Baltimore 23, MD. A division of Botany Industries.

 The ad above is a combination of several other ads the company ran featuring various starlets casually oozing glamour at the airport.  Here's the 1959 ad featuring big screen legend Ginger Rogers perched on her powder blue set styled flawlessly with dainty white gloves, an armful of flowers and a matching fur coat. Just like a lady.

Saturday
Jan142012

Eddie knows his guitars, and he likes Kramer guitars

1984 came and went with Eddie Van Halen doin'' it again - endorsing his musical muses. The Floyd Rose Tremolo System is standard equipment on Kramer Guitars - and if that's good enough for Eddie, then that's good enough for me. I don't know a Kramer guitar from a Stuckey's ukelele so I'll just focus on the things I do understand like that awesome "No Bozos" t-shirt Eddie's wearing. I want me one of them, yes I do.

 

Saturday
Jan142012

Arthur Godfrey offers a host of amusing reasons to tune in...

Arthur Godfrey was doing his thing on The CBS Radio Network. He hosted stars of all kinds, and their friends, on his daily radio show airing every day amongst his great radio peers like Art Linkletter. The ad features candids of A-list stars stopping by to chat up Mr. Godfrey, folks like Bob Hope, Garry Moore, Buddy Hackett, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and the headmistress of Hollywood, Hedda Hopper. The ad lays out exactly what to expect  - 

As a host, Arthur is the most. Which means - he brings out the best in a guest! The celebrities who visit with him on his weekday CBS Radio show have a wonderful time themselves. And this makes for great entertainment. "Arthur Godfrey Time" is a fine combination of fun and music, informality and surprises. Try it. you'll like it.

And don't stop there. Every weekday we also keep you happy with Art Linkletter, "Dear Abby", Durward Kirby, and more. Hear them all Monday through Friday on your local CBS Radio station (listed opposite). When it bomes to great entertainment, we really give you an earful.

Saturday
Jan142012

The stars love them some Smirnoff!

 

Smirnoff Vodka did an excellent job in the 1950s and 1960s recruiting some of the best love stars of stage and screen to shill their spirits. Phil Silvers was a company favorite, or perhaps merely favorited of the company enough in to star in the ads above from 1956 and 1958. The ads both exclaim Smirnoff is "The Gift that Leaves them Breathless!" I hope they're not referring to the kind of breathless where one is barely breathing while passed out drunk on the bathroom floor. In 1967, he was at it again and announcing the ancient appeal of fermented grains with a hearty, " Fun Things Happen with Smirnoff". I guess they do Phil, if your idea of fun is bikini clad bearers of grapes and booze. Yeah, that sounds about right to me too....

 

In 1959, the lovely, British actress, Celeste Holm, threw her hat in the ring to help introduce the Vodka Gimlet into the American lexicon of libations. Smirnoff claims the creation of this classic cocktail - and of course, it too, "leaves you breathless." To make yourself one of these yummy drinks:

Simply add 1 part imported Rose's Lime Juice to 3 or 4 parts Smirnoff. Stir, and server over ice in cocktail or Old Fashioned glass. Remember - smooth, flawless Smirnoff is the point of a good Vodka Gimlet!  

It seems that creating the Gimlet wasn't enough for Smirnoff, so in 1966 they brought together two very different personalities, Woody Allen and Monique Van Vooren, to introduce us their newest craze The Mule. The boozers recommend that you...

Give a Mule party! You couldn't serve a smarter drink. For a cool, refreshing Mule made with Smirnoff and 7-Up is a choice you can start with and stay with. Only crystal-clear Smirnoff, filtered through 14,000 pounds of activated charcoal, blends so perfectly with 7-Up. So follow the rule when mixing the Mule, make it with Smirnoff!

The official recipe reads: Pour a jigger of Smirnoff over ice. Add juice of 1/4 lime. Fill Mule mug or glass with 7-Up to taste. Delicious. If you have a time machine, you can even go back to 1966 and send off for a set of 6 "Mule Mugs". How chic.

 

I've saved these two divas for last - as it would be unfair for anyone to have to follow such glamorous glamour, darling. In 1962 and 1967 respectively, sultry siren Gypsy Rose Lee and platinum princess Zsa Zsa Gabor did their part to spread the word that if you care about them or "if you care 2¢ about your guests" then you'll serve nothing less than Smirnoff. Zsa Zsa feels so strongly, she's clutching her jewels... that means she's serious, y'all!

You know, all this talk makes me think I could use a drink.....

Saturday
Jan142012

The day that Blondie & the BeeGees were one - circa 1980

Music makes strange bedfellows, as did the advertising agency for Ampex cassette tapes. This 1980 ad for recording cassettes tout among their assets, that they're the "tape that launched a thousand hits."  Ampex counts Blondie and the Bee Gees among the ranks of their professional devotees, and they're hoping their respective fans will follow suit. I'm surprised they didn't diversify even further and recruit Kenny Rogers and Lawrence Welk into the mix in order to reach every possible music lover. Perhaps the company that bills itself as "The Tape of the Stars" was only "The Tape of Two Stars?" 

Saturday
Jan142012

Sexy Barbara Bach goes mod for Ponds Fresh-Start. 

Sorry about the title to this post, I can't ever resist a lame pun - and by rule of thumb, the lamer the pun, the better. I mean, this ad from 1966 featuring the future Mrs. Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, is just begging for it. This polka-dotted printable for Ponds Fresh-start spot remover professes to be the perfect pimple preventer. Don't take my word for it, the ad reads:

Spots are in, but not on your skin. new Fresh-Start by Pond's cleans out oil-choked pore openings, the breeding ground for blemishes. 

Who wants a spotty, polka-dotty skin? If up to now you haven't been able to get rid of those spots, here's a cleanser that cuts the breeding ground right out from under them! Fresh-Start is a marvelous new greaseless gel that cleans out the dirt... clears away the oil that can cause blemishes... tingles, tones, medicates your skin till it sparkles! Wash with icy-fresh, tingling Fresh-Start twice a day to help prevent blemishes. Wear between cleansings to protect and medicate invisibly. It's the new unbeatable way to help you look sparklin - and spotless!

Ponds wants to know  "who wants a spotty, polka dotty skin?" I have an answer to that folks, his name is Roy Lichtenstein, and he made himself immortal because of it. 

Sunday
Sep252011

A pair of what you might ask....

Have We Got a Pair for You! So says, the lovely Lynda Carter. Nice double entendre Sanders, you got me, now sell me something!  This 1980something ad for Sanders Boots from El Paso features Wonder Woman herself posing for the Boot Sander's Calendar Collection. (Oh Lynda, please put on this little beaded choker, so the fans will know you're serious about our boots! ) These snazzy kicks are ideal for the fashion-conscious filly... after all, they're "Handcrafted up to a standard... not down to a price." Well, there you have it.