Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adventures in 'Afro American' Advertising

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Time for more black advertising from the late 1960s and early 1970s, courtesy of my stack of old Ebony magazines from the era.

We begin our journey with the happy young couple of above. Look at the husband...the kiss-up. Striving, trying to impress the boss. So much so, you know he invited Bossman over at the last minute and now his wife not only has to be beautiful, but she's got to cook all that shrimp and hang them evenly around that bowl. Mama told her--told her--not to marry that guy. He was to cheap to spring for wedding rings. Now give her a couple of pops of Old Forester so she can get though the night.

Surgically Clean?

The above ad: You see that, don't you? That soap doesn't just get her clean. I mean any cheap-azz bar of Lava could have done that. This soap gets her surgically clean. That's the difference right there. Do you think when she came out of this shower, her man said, "Come here baby...mmmm, you smell not just clean, but surgically clean!"

Dress Patterns go Mod

Theory: It was 1969. Simplicity was tired of churning out countless patterns of do-it-your-self poodle-skirts and mock-turtle neck outfits. "We need be happening, Man. With-it. Today. Dig," somebody said. So they threw caution into the wind and create this pattern. Never occurred to them--not until 1970, I bet--that the dress will reveal two things nobody wanted revealed in 1969: (a) the wearer ain't wearin' drawers (b) the wearer is wearing a big pair of above the navel bloomers because the thong wouldn't be invented until 1974.

I Believe! I Believe!

Look. At. That. Car. A 1970 Buick Riviera. Great name. Great car. But wait a second. Look at that guy. And that jacket. You think maybe he's the guy from the Old Forester ad above? His wife got rid of him after Bossman's visit, but he bounced back with a new car, a new woman with straighter hair, and a brown vest to go under that jacket. He gave up the Old Forester, but he'll be drinking Colt .45 in the back seat of that car by 1978.


Anonymous said...

Gee Lee, could you have found one African American ad in your stack of Ebony Magazines that was for an African American companies product?

For Starters how about Johnson Products Company? Fuller Brush?

I'm almost afraid to hear the answer.

Philemon Najieb, Harvey IL.

Manumitted Negro said...

Hey Brother Najieb!
Great question. And in future installments of this feature, you'll see Johnson Products and other ads from black-owned companies as well.