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1960s Advertising

Health & Beauty Advertising

My Sin perfume

Hai Karate for men

Ad From October 1967

Max Factor Pink-a-Pades

Q.T. suntan lotion

Happy Holidays from "Noel"-co!

--Norelco's Christmas commercial featured Santa Claus zooming over the snow-covered hills on an electric shaver with three floating heads. This TV spot first appeared in 1961. It has been updated through the years, and today it is one of the most fondly-remembered Christmas commercials ever made.


TV commercials really haven't changed all that much over the years. They still feature clever slogans, snappy jingles and celebrity endorsements. What has changed are the number of commercials we see and the length of the average TV spot.

We saw fewer commercials in the 1960s, but they were longer. The typical show had nine minutes of advertising per hour, and the average length of a commercial was one minute. Compare that to 2005, when an hour-long show had 19 minutes of advertising with an average length of 30 seconds per commercial.

There were no regulations when it came to commercials aimed at children. During the 1960s, kids were bombarded with nearly twice as many TV commercials as adults. The typical children's show had 16 minutes of advertising per hour. On many shows, the host did the product pitching. This was confusing for kids, who were often unable to tell the difference between programs and commercials.

Adflip Classic Print Ads
Classic Commercial Video Clips
Ad Classix Print Ads

----- General Advertising
Online Media

my YouTube playlist

1960s Commercials


Smoking & Anti-Smoking

The worlds of advertising and cigarette smoking have been intertwined for as long as we can remember. In the first half of the 20th century, tobacco companies were major contributors to the advertising industry, and many radio and TV programs were sponsored by these companies.

As the 1960s dawned, things were beginning to change. During the 1950s, people became aware of the health hazards of cigarette smoking and began to file court cases against the tobacco companies. Private medical journals published studies linking smoking to lung cancer, and magazines like the Readers Digest ran anti-smoking articles.

The turning point came in 1964 when the Surgeon General released their first report linking smoking to lung cancer, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These results got everyone's attention. The government, which had been at the mercy of the tobacco lobby, began to get involved and slowly some changes were made.


Fred & Wilma lighting up

In the 1950s and 1960s, TV characters
personally endorsed the products
that sponsored their shows

Anti-smoking ads
for parents

Anti-smoking publications

In 1965, Congress passed legislation requiring cigarette packages to carry this warning:
----- Caution: Cigarette Smoking
------May Be Hazardous
------to Your Health.
This law went into effect in 1966.

Smoking by pregnant women was now being linked to premature births and low birth weight.

cigarette advertising

TV Cigarette Commercials
The Marlboro Man
Did The Marlboro Man Die Of Cancer?
Search For Tobacco Print Ads
Camel Cigarette Ads

anti-smoking PSAs
The Fairness Doctrine required that TV and radio stations give equal time to both sides of an issue. In 1967, it was extended to cover cigarette advertising. For every three cigarette commercials that aired, one anti-smoking public service announcement (PSA) must be broadcast.

some of these PSAs included...
*A light-hearted Gene Kelly spot.

*An emotional clip featuring William Talman from the Perry Mason TV show:
"I have lung cancer. Take some advice about smoking and losing from someone who's been doing both for years. If you haven't smoked, don't start. If you do smoke--quit. Don't be a loser."
(Talman died before the commercial aired.)

*The "Johnny Smoke" ads, which featured an animated cigarette dressed as a cowboy.
Read about it!

Anti-smoking buttons

like father, like son

This PSA was perhaps the most famous of them all. It showed a father and his young son enjoying a day together. The little boy idolizes his dad, and does everything he sees his dad do.

Dad washes his car, son polishes the hubcap...
While riding in the convertible, dad waves to a neighbor; the son waves, too...
Dad skips a stone across the pond, so does his son...
While sitting under a tree, dad takes a cigarette out of the pack, puts it in his mouth and sets the pack on the ground next to him. The son looks at his dad and picks up the pack....

Like father, like son...think about it

Read about it!

Listen to it!

Peter Max--
life is beautiful
stay alive
don't smoke cigarettes

These PSAs were very effective in the war against smoking, and smoking rates began to decline for the first time in 100 years. It's estimated that ten million Americans quit smoking between 1967 and 1970.

In 1969, when Congress proposed a ban on cigarette advertising on TV and radio, the tobacco companies realized that this ban would remove those damaging PSAs, and they agreed to it. The ban was signed into law by President Nixon in 1970 and went into effect on January 2, 1971.

In 1969, the cigarette warning label was changed to:
----- The Surgeon General
-----Has Determined That
-----Cigarette Smoking is
-----Dangerous to Your Health.

In the wake of this anti-smoking evidence, the cigarette companies tried new tactics to get people to keep smoking. Some brands introduced filters, and others urged you to smoke without inhaling!


Fashion Advertising



Who Is That Behind
Those Foster Grants?

--this ad campaign was instrumental
in popularizing sunglasses


Food & Drink Advertising

Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat!

Beginning in 1936, Oscar Mayer employees drove across the country in Oscar Mayer Wienermobiles, handing out wiener whistles

Hotdogger Blog: The Wienermobile

Once upon a time there was an engineer.
And Choo-Choo Charlie was his name, we hear.
He had an engine and he sure had fun,
He used Good n' Plenty candy to make his train run!

Charlie says: Love that Good n' Plenty!
Charlie says: Really rings a bell! (ding!)
Charlie says: Love that Good n' Plenty!
Don't know any other candy that I love so well.

Listen to it!

Burger King used this logo until 1967
----- advertising icons

1961: Charlie The Tuna (StarKist)
1963: Ronald McDonald
------ Cap'n Crunch
1964: Toucan Sam (Froot Loops)
1965: Pillsbury Dough Boy
1967: The Frito Bandito

Commercials for Fritos Corn Chips
featured the Frito Bandito

I'm sorry, I thought you were Dale!
--mother looks so trim and youthful after eating Grape Nuts cereal that she is mistaken for her teenage daughter

Burke Family Grape Nuts TV Commercial

How about a nice Hawaiian punch?
--Hawaiian Punch fruit drink

Sorry, Charlie...
StarKist wants tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste
--StarKist tuna


Household & Other

Vintage Vacuum Tube Ads
Philco 1967.....Red Buttons

--greater picture brightness, with redder reds, brighter greens and more brilliant blues!

Color TV was a very big deal in the 1960s. Advertising stressed the brightness of the colors and their true-to-life quality.

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