An archive of outrageous adverts from yesteryear

Technical advertising, industrial advertising, engineering advertising
Smoking Santa:
Wouldn't work today
I was recently chatting to a client about Mad Men, the cult TV series about the 1960s advertising industry set in the fictitious offices of US agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

The conversation brought to mind this archive of outrageous adverts from yesteryear, none of which could be used today due to their politically insensitive content. These range from Santa Claus smoking a cigar to a pig slicing itself into sausages and proclaiming, “On mange avec plasir et... sans fatigue”, paraphrased as “I’m easy to prepare and delicious to eat with pleasure”.

Surprisingly, there are some messages here that can be applied in industrial marketing and advertising campaigns.

The first is that, if you are planning an international campaign, any colloquialism or references should be checked with a native speaker first. They simply may not translate directly, as in the case of the pig above.

If you do choose to make a ‘cheeky’ reference in a campaign, which is hugely common in industries like electrical contracting and commercial vehicles, try to make sure you will still look cheeky and not just prejudiced in ten years time. Remember, today’s newspaper is no longer tomorrow’s chip paper, its tomorrow’s searchable web content.

Oh, and if you’ve never watched Mad Men, make sure you order the DVDs today.

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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