Tag Archives: branding

The Little Girl is Right

Magazine ad for Hart Schaffner & Marx - late 40s/early 50s
Guess who forgot to write the month/year/mag again? Umm… I was originally thinking probably late-40s, maybe early-50s. But she appears to be using some sort of Dictaphone or Ediphone, which would place it in the 1920s or earlier. Unless their boss never upgraded the office equipment, which is also entirely plausible. The shirt collar and necktie kind of have that Roaring Twenties look though. I’m talking to myself again, aren’t I. Yes, Clay, you are.

This ad must’ve taken place before they invented personal zones.

A bit about the artist Jay Hyde Barnum.

Hey! The company is still around!

A guide to wearing wool in the summer.

And speaking of wool, meet Shrek, the sheep who escaped shearing for six years by hiding in New Zealand caves.

Or perhaps you would prefer a wood suit?

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That family is, like, the worst fruit pickers EVER.

Magazine ad for the Golden State Limited found in the January 7, 1904 issue of Life magazine.
From the January 7, 1904 issue of Life magazine.

I have questions.
What is that tool/toy at the bottom of the ad?
The husband is totally cheating on her, right?
Is wearing white really the wisest choice here?

Fun facts:

Classic Trains has a nice assortment of Golden State Limited marketing materials.

Golden State’s later years were not quite so posh and luxurious.

And what good is Golden State Limited history if it doesn’t include tales of train robberies gone wrong and bodies found in drippy trunks?

Oh, now you want to learn more about Winnie Ruth Judd, AKA the Trunk Murderess, AKA the Tiger Woman, AKA the Blonde Butcher? I gotcha covered. Also, there’s a website named Murderpedia.

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Magazine/digest ad for Lee Work Clothes found in the June, 1951 issue of Popular Western.
Found in the June, 1951 issue of Popular Western

Fun facts:

Union-Alls appear to be another word for coveralls, or ever better, speed suits.

Scout preferred overalls in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lee and Wrangler are now owned by Kontoor Brands. Would you wear Kontoor jeans?

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Maybe your dad could lick mine!

Detail of a magazine ad from the late 1930s for Kellogg's Pep breakfast cereal.
Detail of a magazine ad from the late 1930s for Kellogg’s Pep breakfast cereal.

This is truly one of the best headlines ever written. Perhaps not back when it was originally written and meanings were slightly different, but a masterpiece today.

Magazine ad from the late 1930s for Kellogg's Pep breakfast cereal.
Magazine ad from the late 1930s for Kellogg’s Pep breakfast cereal.

I wonder how much of that Vitamin D came from the milk (or cream – yes, that was a thing back then) they poured on the Pep?

Fun facts: Kellogg’s Pep was the first breakfast cereal fortified with spray-on vitamins.

Kellogg’s Pep cereal was also a mild laxative.

Pep was once known as “the sunshine cereal”.

Ergo, Pep let you fart sunshine.

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A 1969 double truck magazine ad for GW Energy, err, GW Sugar
A 1969 double truck magazine ad for GW Energy, err, GW Sugar

Wanna lose weight and get in great shape! Eat a shitload of sugar!

On second thought, don’t do dat.

Fun facts:

In the Middle Ages, rich and royal people would commission giant sugar sculptures called subtleties.

Artist Kara Walker confected us a modern one and called it “A Subtlety“.

Want more sugar trivia? Here ya go. Want ever more. Ok, but pace yourself.

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Burn with me.

A 1955 magazine ad for Caron’s Poivre.
Found in the February 1955 issue of Town & Country magazine.

“Here’s to women who play with fire and the perfume that they can smolder in.” — from a review of this scent by Barbara Herman at Yesterday’s Perfume.

Fun facts:

“Poivre” is French for “pepper”, named after the fragrance’s hot spicy pepper top note and now I really want to smell it.

Caron’s Poivre squeaked in at #10 in this list of The World’s 10 Most Expensive Perfumes Ever Created.

You can pick up 90 ml. of this perfume on Etsy for the low, low price of $2,130! (used)

Parfums Caron is still going strong.

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Rebranding the Virus

I imagine the guys who refuse to wear masks are the same guys who refuse to wear condoms.

Perhaps we should rebrand COVID-19 as Air AIDS.

Earlier, I considered rebranding COVID-19 as Death Breath, but that sounds like something that could be cured with a mint.

And originally, I thought we could change the Coronavirus’ name to Lung Gonorrhea, because Gonorrhea is one of the most awful-sounding words out there, but then I remembered that lung cancer is a very real thing but that doesn’t stop smokers from smoking. Until it does.


Magazine ad for Burroughs Microfilming
Who has two thumbs and forgot to write down the year and magazine this was in?

Fun facts:

As everybody knows, John Benjamin Dancer was the Father of Microphotography.

This technology also came in handy with wartime carrier pigeons.

Kodak promised that its version of microfilm will last for 500 years without decay.

And since all of you have always wondered what the difference was between microfiche and microfilm, here’s the answer!

Note: That is a sexy, sexy lowercase “g” with the detached ear.
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Bring Yourself to Budget

Full page Budget Tapes & Records ad from the July 8, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone magazine
Full page Budget Tapes & Records ad from the July 8, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone magazine

During my back half of high school and first year of college in the late-80s, I worked at a strip-mall store called Budget Tapes and Records in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota. It didn’t pay much, but was definitely one of the coolest jobs around. When I started, CDs were still sold in “long boxes” and beta videos and vinyl were on the way out. And yes, we also sold tobacco accessories for use with tobacco and only tobacco. Tobacco.

The Budget Tapes & Records logo from my era.
The Budget Tapes & Records logo from my era.

So imagine my surprise when I was flipping through an old Rolling Stone magazine and found a full page ad for an earlier version of Budget Tapes and Records. Full page. Rolling Stone magazine. Daaaaaaamn. Also, it appears they were way cooler back then.

Note: Even though the Eighties-era Bismarck and Fargo stores weren’t as cool as the 1971 stores, they were still much cooler than the Williston, North Dakota store. Yeesh.

Another note: Hey! My old boss (and his brother) made it into Billboard magazine back in the day!

Whew. Lots of memories coming back from this gig, few of which I’d share here. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

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This is Sean. Don’t cramp Sean’s style.

1974 magazine ad for Midol.
1974 magazine ad for Midol. 

Fun facts: Midol was originally advertised as a headache, neuralgia and toothache remedy, then later as a cure for hiccups. After that, it headed south.

An anti-spasmodic (antispasmodic these days) drug suppress muscle spasms. Hello, IBS!

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