Is that a dentifrice on your toothbrush or are you just happy to see me?

1969 ad for Crest toothpaste
1969 ad for Crest toothpaste

Just imagine not having to fill the ad with a stock photo of smiling children.

Fun facts: What did people use before toothpaste? Charred eggshells were just one of the lovely options.

The Giant Armadillo has more teeth than any other land mammal — up to 100!

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Ding Dong

Avon Cosmetics ad found in the October 1953 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.
Avon Cosmetics ad found in the October 1953 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.

Avon calling.

Fun facts: The first Avon Representative was Mrs. P.F.E. Albee in 1886.

There were one million Avon Representatives by 1978.

On a personal note, there are two perfumes that have seduced me at pivotal moments in my life. Avon’s Odyssey is one of them.

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Get woke.

1969 ad for the Sony Digimatic Alarm Clock Radio
1969 ad for the Sony Digimatic Alarm Clock

This ad has a pretty utilitarian headline in the innovation/differentiation/unique-selling-proposition/how-will-it-improve-your-life vein, but once you get into the body copy, it’s a golden-age masterpiece of copywriting.

Fun fact: The snooze alarm was invented in 1956.

While we’re at it, here’s a 2,000-year history of alarm clocks thanks to Atlas Obscura.

Hey babe, are you into horology?

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Don’t Bring Me Down

Electric Light Orchestra ad found in a 1976 issue of Crawdaddy magazine.
Found in a 1976 issue of Crawdaddy magazine.

Don’t you hate it when you buy a full-page ad with minimal copy and lots of glorious white space and you forget to proofread the headline?

Fun fact: This record was originally pressed in gold vinyl.

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In hindsight, perhaps a teeter-totter wasn’t the best visual metaphor.

Packard "Balance" ad from the June 4, 1927 issue of The Literary Digest
Packard “Balance” ad from the June 4, 1927 issue of The Literary Digest

Something for the auto buffs: Why Packard Died

Want a Packard of your very own? Looks like a 1929 Packard 645 Deluxe Eight goes for an average of $212,926 these days. What a bargain!

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That’s hot.


From his signature pose to his rumbling catchphrase, Paris Hilton always found inspiration from the Green Giant.

When a girl you’ve never met before suddenly gives you a sandwich, that’s Impuls… err… Wonder Bread.

1969 ad for Wonder Bread
1969 ad for Wonder Bread

A little Cheez Whiz in that sammich, and she’d be marryin’ material.

Fun facts: Wonder Bread’s name was inspired by hot air balloons.

No money was exchanged for Wonder Bread’s prominent brand use in Sony Picture’s Talladega Nights.

Horseradish is neither a radish nor a horse.

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Unga bunga. Alunda zug-zug.

1959 ad from the Cigar Institute of America, Inc.
1959 ad from the Cigar Institute of America, Inc.

Fun fact: The earliest known cigar is from an image on a 10th century Mayan pot. So if cavemen smoked cigars, they probably used their caves as humidors, but this is purely speculation on my part.

Another fun fact: It’s also highly unlikely cavemen ever used clubs.

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He just remembered he was supposed to be playing poker with the boys.

1956 ad from the Cigar Institute of America, Inc.
1956 ad from the Cigar Institute of America, Inc.

Trivia: A skilled male cigar roller is called a torcedor.

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“Don’t cough, Junior. My cigar’s smoke makes your stupid toy train more authentic.”

1956 ad from the Cigar Institute of America, Inc.
1956 ad from the Cigar Institute of America, Inc.

Trivia: “Close, but no cigar.” Its origin comes from being screwed over by a carnie. As for “Give that man a cigar,” same place but with a happy ending.

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