Tag Archives: writing

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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But I must.

I’m sharing this one for the last line of copy in the block:

“Every woman who sees them wants them—she must have them.”

A lovely example of inventing desire.

McCallum Silk Hosiery ad
Found on the back cover of a 1922 issue of Life.
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Beep-beep zip bang!

1971 Plymouth Road Runner

Fun facts: 

Plymouth paid Warner Bros. fifty grand to use the Road Runner name and likeness.

Hatched in 1968, the Plymouth Road Runner wasn’t discontinued until 1980.

And yes, Plymouth had a special beep-beep horn for it, developed by the Sparton Corporation of Jackson, Michigan. Hear it here.

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[trashes kitchen in Crisco-fueled rage]

I was trying to find out if the big container of Crisco was called a canister, can, jar, tub, pail, bucket or something else, and noticed this rather ambitious bit of copy…

The original. The classic blue can no pantry should be without. use it for baking, frying, or just to feel like a rock star in the kitchen.

“Big bubbles. No troubles.” — Sir Mix-a-Lot (attributed)

Hubba Bubba
1980 comic book ad for Hubba Bubba bubble gum

What a great way to introduce a new brand.

Look at the sheer amount of copy in this comic book ad aimed at kids!

The copywriter even got “akimbo” and “dadgum” approved!

Wowie-zowie! I’m impressed.

Note: I had no idea Hubba Bubba was available in mint flavor back in 1980.

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Today’s Comic Book English Lesson: Owlhoot

Owlhoots!

Quite simply, in Old West times, an owlhoot was a bad guy.

Find out more about owlhoots from Word Histories and True West Magazine.

See? Comic books are good for you!

The perfect word.

Behold, the out-of-print poster you never knew you wanted.

The perfect word.
Found in Rolling Stone Magazine, May 22, 1975.
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Always proofread.

Food Panties.

“lickin’ and larnin’”

Found in the March 1946 issue of Fifteen Western Tales.

Abraham Lincoln
his hand and pen.
he will be good but
god knows When

Historical note: The poem in the ad is a Lincoln original written in his math book when he was in his teens. Would you like to know more?

A bit of Inkograph history can be found here.

(I’m assuming that the “lickin’” has something to do with old-timey writing instruments to get the ink flowing, but I could be wrong. Also, I’m trying to keep things clean.)

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Just my type.

I thought I had a chance at this wonderfully odd Williams typewriter invented by John Newton Williams and the first typewriter where the typist could actually see what they just typed (Williams also invented one of the first helicopters and a 3-cylinder motorcycle). It was the first item up for auction. The typewriter went for $1,200. I did not have a chance.