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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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Entries in Lustre Creme (6)


Ads According to Ava

Inspired by a marathon of Ava Gardner movies - I present to you the advertising stylings of Hollywood's favorite non-Elizabeth-Taylor-brunette. That face was good enough to woo loverboy Frank Sinatra and seduce scores of men in the movies and the movie theaters. She put her fame to good use endorseing a variety of products primarily in the 1950s.

Lustre-Creme lured Ava for a 1953 Shampoo ad putting her among the ranks of a parade of Lustre-Creme coiffed starlets. This ad coincided with the release of her MGM film Mogumbo. Also in 1953 Max Factor recruited Ava to endorse their Face Powder with a tie in to her Knights of the Round Table movie. According to Ava, Max Factor face powder,

Keeps your make up so perfectly matt for hours. Gives your complexion that fascinating look of perfection. 

I'll ignore the odd grammar and phrasing (and questionable, ok WRONG, spelling) and just say that I don't remember the fur and diamonds from the movie, but Ava's face does look fascinatingly mattE and perfect.  

Ava branched out of the cosmetics industry with endorsements of Wilton Cigarettes in 1950 and Cameo Stockings in 1953. This ad for Wilton is from Argentina - my crude translation indicates that it refers to her as the Star of The Great Sinner by MGM. I presume the rest tells me how  smooth and healthy Wilton cigarettes are and how they will make me look and smell super glamorous. That's what they usually say anyways. Feel free to translate and tell me all about it in the comments. Meanwhile, I love this 1953 ad for Cameo stockings. I quote,

Keep that soft misty glamour right down to your toes. Ava Gardner and dozens of other MM stars know that shiny stockings pick up ugly highlights, make lovely legs look unshapely. That's why MGM stars wear Bur-Mil Cameo stocking on the screen and off. Cameo's exclusive Face Powder Finish glamorizes their legs with permanently soft silky dullness.

Now that's some copywriting! Shiny stocking make your legs look bumpy and unshapely while ours make them look soft, misty, glamorous AND dull! Quite a promise! What is "soft, misty glamour" anyways? Misty and legs don't seem to really belong together as a concept.

This last ad from 1990 by Krizia perfume for Dillards features a beautiful photo of Ava as a young girl. Who knows if she or her estate authorized it... but it was too precious not to share.  


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. 



Lustrous beauty Deborah Kerr loves Lustre Creme!

The refined red-head Deborah Kerr exuded elegance and deserved nothing but the best from her hair care regimen. Along with other starlets of her day, she reached for her Lustre Creme Shampoo when the urge to overshampoo struck... perhaps because it's "blessed with lanolin!" Blessed hair care products have always been hard to come by, you know.

For every woman who's been over-washing her hair... A shampoo so rich yo only need to 'lather once'! 

The 1957 'Never dries - it beautifies" ad is promoting her famous role in "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant where she wins him over with her manageable mane, no doubt.


Elizabeth Taylor - the early years with Lustre Creme


Even the ridiculously gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor needs a little beauty boost. Lustre Creme was the lively, lock-tamer of choice for the elegant starlet. 

In the first of these two ads, during the Ivanhoe era, Liz is bestowed the tag of "The Most Beautiful Hair in the World" thanks to Lustre-Creme's magical powers. During Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, she was lucky enough to stumble onto Liquid Lustre-Creme, the answer to any girl's hair prayers. 

New LIQUID Lustre-Creme is here! Now you can shampoo... set with plain water... and have lively, natural looking curls! 

Almost every big star did their part for Lustre-Creme, and Liz didn't let them down. I'm sure she did her bit for the bottom line!


Betty Grable - a tale of 3 advertisements

Royal Crown Cola Advertisement • 1944Betty Grable was America's girl next door during the turbulent war-torn 1940s. She reminded the boys abroad of the comforts of home while making the girls at home proud with her feisty yet friendly femininity. The pin-up girl kept busy in between movies and photo shoots with some commercial work for the likes of Royal Crown Cola (1944), Lustre Creme and the requisite ciggie endorsement for Chesterfield.

The RC Cola and Chesterfield ads are both promoting her 20th Century Fox movie "Pin-Up Girl" while the cosmetic ad tells of her upcoming chick flick "The Farmer Takes a Wife".


Lustre Creme 1950s

Hollywood's favorite shampoo, Lustre-Creme, was good enough for the princess herself, Grace Kelly.  The ad also promotes her latest movie, "The Swan" by MGM in Cinemascope. The copy reads:

Yes, Grace Kelly uses Lustre-Creme Shampoo. It's the favorite of 6 out of 8 top Hollywood movie stars! 
It never dries your hair! Lustre Creme Shampoo  is blended with lanolin... foams into rich lather, even in lukewarm water... leaves hair so easy to manage.

I can't read the rest of the ad copy... but I couldn't miss the tagline, "Never Dries— it Beautifies!