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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. 

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The politically incorrect fabulousness that is BlackGlama



Oh, let's think for a moment on a simpler time, when we were unconcerned about the precious feelings of little varmints that look oh so glamourous draped on our delicate shoulders and take a gander at the popular ad campaign of Blackglama furriers. In 1978 they employed many a sophisticated lady of a certain age to demonstrate the sheer power of a pelt in our popular fashion. Heavyweights like Helen Hayesand Claudette Colbert posed along with funny ladies Carol Burnett and Imogene Coca... every woman deserves a little Blackglama in their lives! 


Man sized appetite? Campbell's can handle a hungry man!

I can't say that I've ever made an O face quite like that while eating vegetable beef soup, come to think of it I wouldn't normally eat vegetable beef soup so now I wonder what I've been missing!?! Well, if former NY Jet's defensive end Gerry Philbin's reaction is any indication in this Campbell's soup ad from 1969, it must be quite an experience. Campbell's has bestowed four of it's heartiest flavors (Vegetable Beef, Stockpot, Minestrone & Chili Beef) the distinction of being "The Manhandlers." According to the ad:

This soup is built for a big, hungry man. Tender, juicy beef, good garden vegetables and a burly beef stock. 

That's what most men I know long for - a real Manhandler with tender beef and burly stock! Well, some men do. The others only want it in a soup!


Three lovely ladies of Lustre Creme - Doris, Donna and Lana

Lustre Creme obviously courted every lovely leading lady with any flavor of selling power throughout the fifties— this edition brings you the likes of Lana Turner, Doris Day and everybody's favorite mama, Donna Reed

Lana Turner, voted one of the "top-twelve" by "Modern Screen" and a jury of top hair-stylists posed for this spot in 1952 coinciding with her film, "Merry Widow". She looks about as merry as a widow could muster I suppose in this serious pose, serious puss and super-serious hairstyle to match. Obviously, glamorous hair is serious business! It says so right in the ad, "The care of her beautiful hair is vital to her glamour-career." 

In contrast, the two perky D's - Donna and Doris plaster on a smile and show off their warmth in cool contrast to the icy Ms. Turner's ad.

Simple, sleek, sexy hair along with sensational smiles I'm sure sold plenty a pot of Lustre-Creme. As always, it "Never Dries, it Beautifies!" Donna's ad is promoting her turn in The Last  Time I Saw Paris while Doris' 1956 version references the Hitchcock classic The Man Who Knew Too Much, a personal fave.  That's the movie where she sings "Que Sera, Sera" - one of the most eternal earworms I know of, other than "It's a Small World", but let's not get into that. 



You are what you eat - Jerry Lewis goes nuts for Planters.

1963 was the year that Planters confirmed Jerry Lewis is as nutty as a tin of Mr. Salty's friends and relatives. This Life magazine ad goes on and on about all the nut varieties offered by Planters. You know the execs at Planters were salivating at the merchandising opportunities when Lewis signed on with Paramount for their insta-classic "The Nutty Professer." Nutty star = salty snack sales skyrocketing! 

Jerry Lewis is nuts about nuts - especially Planters new Dry Roasted Cashews and new Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts... dry roasted with absolutely no fats, and so crisp and crunchy. For all-out crunchiness, Jerry goes for Planters Old Fashioned Peanut Candy -o one of America's favorite confections. Sometimes Jerry likes the richness of planters Whole Cashews but when he's in an "olé" mood, Jerry reaches for Planters Spanish Redskins. These are Jerry Lewis's special Planters favorites... how many have you tried?

I see that since 1963, Planters saw fit to rename their Spanish Redskins to Spanish Peanuts. Thank goodness, cuz I like my grocery story racism free.


Carole Lombard times two- from ciggies to silverware!

1937 Lucky Strike featuring Carole Lombard

The "men who know tobacco best" favored Lucky Strikes - and everyone knows that 2 out of 3 doctors can never be wrong. This 1937 print ad features a sexy Carole Lombard (from the new Paramount production "True Confession") sharing her singing coach's recommendation of Lucky Strikes because they're easier on the throat. 

"When I had to sing in a recent picture," says Carole Lombard, "I considered giving up smoking. But my voice teacher said I needn't if I'd select a light smoke - Luckies. I soon found that even when singing and acting twelve hours a day, I can smoke as many Luckies as I like without the slightest throat irritation."

I suppose it's a shame Ms. Lombard didn't live long enough to learn if her voice teacher would become accessory to murder by cigarettes. What an innocent time the 30s were. For that matter so were the 40s, 50s, 60s and much of the 70s. Not to mention that this might be the "prettiest" cigarette ad I remember seeing.

1940 Rogers Bros. Silverware

This 1940 ad for "America's Finest Silverplate" 1847 Rogers Bros. "Adoration" silverware has Lombard seductively soliciting, "Don't trust my eyes - use yours." Okay Carole, in truth, it looks like my grandma's old silverware, so I guess your take on decadent decor was spot on. My grandma was a classy lady after all. This ad references her 1940 movie "They Knew What They Wanted"  which is where I surmise the feature photo may be from. I think she looks a little like Meryl Streep in this pic. 


Ernie Banks likes some Sunbeam Double Action... 

When your brand is "built with integrity - backed by service" there's no one better to represent it than Chicago Cubs Ernie Banks. I found this cheeky (sorry for the pun) ad in a 1965 Ebony magazine extolling the virtues of Sunbeam's Shavemaster Electric Shaver. This cutting-edge (oops I did it again) technology was available in both cordless and corded versions. How liberating for 1965! According to the ad copy:

Now the electric shaver that trims sideburns like a straight edge razor - brings you Double-Action shaving. Shaves you twice with a single stroke! It's the all-new Sunbeam Double Action Shavemaster shaver that works like no other electric you've tried. Six surgical steel blades, under a double shaving head, mow down whiskers in front, sweep up whiskers in back. Shaves you twice with a single stroke! To give you the kind of shave you never thought  any electric could. What a great gift for a man! Just ask Ernie Banks.

I love that presumably Ernie is the one recommending you buy this as a gift. Since men have been kissing women, women have been trying to find ways for men to chop off that itchy scratchy crumb catcher. Guaranteed it was Ernie's wife who came up with that bright idea!


Flakin' out with Loretta Lynn.

I remember the Crisco commercials with Loretta Lynn when I was growing up in the 80s. Those were the days... the days of every dinner consisting of cans and boxes transformed into "convenient" home-cooking... nevermind preservatives, chemicals and the trans-fat travesty. Back in the day, Crisco was what it was all about in the kitchen. You could fry up the chicken and whip up a pie from the same giant canister. 

This 1985 ad features Loretta's recipe for Chocolate  Angel Pie along with the promise that "Nothing's tastier 'cause nothing's flakier." And that's in quotes, folks, so believe!

Having a hard time tracking down the actual recipe... but I'm sure it's tasty. How can I be so sure you ask? Because "Crisco'll do you proud everytime." 

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