1950's ads: a glimpse into the past July 11 2012, 0 Comments


One of my favourite things is looking at print ads of the 1950’s.  Filled with hand drawn illustrations, and long copy; to bright, bold colors that signified wealth and happiness- these advertisements succeed in conveying the joy of ‘50s consumerism.

In recent times, retro trends and TV shows such as AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ have popularized the era into an extreme sense of nostalgia. The value of nostalgia we get from advertising is important because it not only represents a time of innovative design; it offers a reflection of how our society has evolved over the past sixty years.

 Now we should note that the characteristics of a lot of these ads are sexist, racist, and without censorship of being overly sexual. However, they also add commentary towards family values, role models, and the general ideals of this decade.


From a feminist standpoint, its hard to envision a world where women were treated like we were only good for raising the kids while taking care of household chores in high heels. But it’s also essential to look at how our society has progressed from those older values, to newer, more venerable ones. 


 Although, the 1950’s may seem like a “simpler time”, I’m happy to just adapt my favourite elements (such as my Mary Janes, bamboo print, and Paul Newman) into a modern day life.