November 16, 2010

Unusual endorsements of the classic stars

For as long as celebrities have existed, they've been hawking products to the public. The integration of sponsors into TV or radio programs further blurred the line between advertising and entertainment, so it was quite common to see a top box office star promoting something. Most often it was cigarettes, with beauty and hygiene products a close second. They're glamorous and fun - I have a Chesterfield (cigarette brand) ad with Rita Hayworth hanging on my wall. But in browsing the great site Vintage Ads and Stuff, I came across some odd ducks - famous faces lending themselves to ads for unexpected products, or some ads that are just downright strange. I thought I'd share some of my favorites. If you like what you see, I should note that the thousands of ads seen on the aforementioned website are originals available for sale (mostly at under $5 a pop!). Click any image to enlarge.

Joan Crawford for Fleers Gum - it's kind of hard to read, but it seems like Joan has a personality test to determine if you're a good person, and you should buy gum, and those are unrelated thoughts.

Arlene Francis for The Wallpaper Council (!) - I'm thinking about making "Wallpaper is smart!" my catchphrase.

Zsa Zsa Gabor for Paper-Mate - Sex sells...pens?

Susan Hayward for Sunsweet Prunes - Ms. Hayward is a beguiling young lady with a lovely figure, but despite the claims of the text on this I don't think she maintains it by having a GIANT BOWL OF PRUNES for lunch on set.

Bob Hope for Texaco - Just Old Ski Nose relaxing at home with a cold glass of sponge. And ya know, I never questioned Texaco's competence at doing their job until they placed an ad to convince me...

William Bendix for the American Meat Institute (?!) - "On the air for MEAT!"

Sammy Davis Jr. for Alka-Seltzer - No words.

Joan Blondell for Auto-Lite - Both Joan and Auto-Lite spark plugs have rhythm and perfect performance! That's probably better for Joan than saying that the spark plugs are cheap and easy to use.

A couple of Woody Allen ads for Smirnoff - before Scarlett, before Mia, before Diana, there was Smirnoff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very clever! Alot of those ads are very odd haha. My favorite I think was the Susan Hayward prunes.

Its funny, because today when you say odd advertisements people think of celebrity cigarette ads as odd. I don't know about you but I think those are pretty normal-particularly compared to those you posted!