History and Modern Advertising in the 60s and 70s Part 1

About the history of advertising in the 60s and 70s, modern advertising in sales, examples, information and ads.


The 1960s and 1970s have produced a Gross Advertising Surround. To get an idea of omnipresence, try to estimate the number of advertising images that are currently displayed in the U.S., leaving aside, if you care to, packaging that simply announces the brand name. Every day," wrote adman Leo Bogart in 1967, "4.2 billion advertising messages pour forth from 1,754 daily newspapers, millions of others from 8,151 weeklies, and 1.4 billion more each day from 4,147 magazines and periodicals. There are 3,895 AM and 1,336 FM stations broadcasting an average of 730,000 commercials a day, and 770 television stations broadcast 100,000 commercials a day. Every day millions of people are confronted with 330,000 outdoor billboards, with 2,500,000 car cards and posters in buses, subways and commuter trains, with 51,300,000 direct mail pieces and leaflets, and with billions of display and promotion items."

An Avon ad: "Rapture is sensitive to you. . . . Rapture has beautiful hopes for you. . . ."

A Fiat ad: "Among all the wonderful Italian things America has discovered, nothing is more so than Fiat's 1100 D Sedan. That includes the wine, the women, the music, the art--even great, historic Roma. . . ."

At the beginning of the revolt in the Dominican Republic in 1965, there were 3 U.S. Information Service people in the country. By the time the U.S. military intervention was over and the revolt crushed, more than 20 official U.S. public relations workers were on the scene.

Right Guard was pushing a new Natural Scent Deodorant. One of their ads featured a long-haired young woman in wire-rimmed glasses. She spoke of how natural she was and how natural Right Guard was. "It's as if they knew what I wanted," she concluded. This ad was brought to you by BBDO, the same agency that handled Dwight Eisenhower. Gillette's $17 million, 3-month introductory campaign for Natural Scent included a big TV push and the mailing out of 20 million 10cent-off scratch 'n' sniff coupons.

Here's an example of another use of the word "natural." Lipton's new family drink mix, which "bridges the generation gap," is billed in TV commercials and on its wrapper as "100% natural flavor." The ingredients, however, are listed on the package as: "Sugar, citric acid (provides tartness), orange juice (natural flavor on corn syrup), corn sugar (aids dissolving), sodium citrate (regulates tartness), gum acacia (flavor carrier), tricalcium phosphate (aids dissolving), cellulose gum (adds body), vitamin C, orange oil (natural flavor), vegetable oil (for cloud), artificial color, BHA (preserves freshness)." Note the attempt to validate non-nutritive ingredients by forthrightly describing their effects.

This ad was withdrawn from circulation: A girl runs up in a white slip that has just been washed in the advertised soap. "Mommy, smell my slip."

How big is the modern advertising business? Advertising Age, the "National Magazine of Marketing," reports that "Everybody who advertised in 1972--manufacturing companies, service operations, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, associations, labor unions, schools, churches, governments, politicians, individuals placing want ads--spent an estimated $23 billion for the privilege.

"Most of this enormous total--about $13.1 billion, or 57%--was expended by national advertisers. There are, in fact, more than 17,000 such advertisers in the U.S. The hundred largest of these companies (ranging from Procter & Gamble, with an expenditure of about $275 million, to the E. & J. Gallo Winery, with an outlay of $13,300,000) invested $5.27 billion alone in advertising media last year. Thus, fewer than 1% of all of America's national advertisers accounted for 40% of all national advertising dollars. . . ."

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