TV ads reflect the culture we come from, but sometimes they don’t make us look good. From the dangers of women driving to smoking Flintstones, here are four ads from past decades that would never be run today
Goodyear Polyglas Tires
This early 1970s tyre ad plays on a husband’s insecurities about his wife driving alone. Cue Hitchcockian close-ups of a woman driving through a dark night to collect her husband from the airport. “When a woman’s at the wheel, Polyglas means more than mileage,” intones the voiceover. When she arrives, she immediately slides over into the passenger seat and lets her man take the wheel.
Model Elle Macpherson strolls on a beach in a red bikini. ‘Tab Cola helps your beautiful shape,” coos the ad. As she passes a couple, the man gawps at her, prompting his girlfriend to pour water over his head.
Winston cigarettes sponsored the first two seasons of The Flintstones in 1960-1962. In one ad, Fred Flintstone and his neighbour Barney are watching their wives hard at work mowing the lawn. Fred: “They sure work hard don’t they, Barney?”Barney: “We ought to do something.” Fred: “How about taking a nap?” Barney: “I got a better idea... let’s take a Winston break.” Fred: “Yeah Barney, Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should.”
Jell-O’s cringeworthy animated ad features a Chinese baby unable to enjoy the 10 flavours of Jell-O with chopsticks. That is, until he is brought a spoon. “Chinese mother bring poor Chinese baby great Western invention, a spoon!” the ad proclaims. It was very popular in 1957 and spawned two similar ads in the same series.