I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this before on my blog, but if you follow me on Instagram you would know that my latest obsession involves thumbing through periodicals from the late 60’s to mid-70’s and finding ads or news stories that stand out to me. Sometimes I take pictures and post them, sometimes I don’t, but mainly I do it because I find advertising so psychologically interesting. People who make ads literally get paid to get inside your head and make you want to buy things? How? Well, mainly sex, but there’s also hints of power, wealth, beauty, and excitement that are used to persuade. Most of the ads I find are for booze and cigarettes, which I find even more interesting as this kind of advertising I feel is much less prominent these days as we realized the health dangers associated with them.
Advertisements from popular magazines of this time period offer a peek into what America’s deepest desires were 50 years ago. Most of them seem similar to today, although I’m glad that in the last few decades we have moved a lot more towards equality and open mindedness. I’m not here to scrutinize these ads, or be mad about them and write scathing angry posts about the content. So if you get mad or fired up about the ad I am about to share, just know I am sharing this as an observer of today, 2017, who is indeed a strong independent female who does not condone sexism, racism, or any other kind of hate. When I see things like this, I try to see them from the perspective of knowing that even though we have a long way to go still, we have indeed come pretty far. You can’t change the past, but you can move forward from it and grow and that kind of progress can be inspiring.
Today I was thumbing through Newsweek, October 9, 1967. Now, at first I thought this was an article, but the look on the guys face is what really drew me in and made me want to read it. As I started reading, I realized that this is kind of a hybrid between and ad and a PSA from the Cigar Institute of America, which from a quick google either doesn’t exist anymore or has changed its name to “The Cigar Association of America” which is entirely possible. I also found that somebody on eBay is selling this exact ad that I am going to share with you for $4.99. I wonder if anybody will ever buy it, god I hope not.
I don’t know if you can read the wording… So I will transcribe the ad here:
The facts of life for new cigar smokers
Finding the cigar meant for you is no different than finding the girl meant for you. It pays to shop around a little before you settle down.
After all, there are 15 million cigar smokers in this country. Do you think all of them hit it off with the first cigar they tried?
Cigars, like women, come in all shapes, sizes, and blends.
Try a slim cigar for a while. Then try a more curvaceous one. You and the cigar should look good together.
Then try different priced cigars. As with love, money won’t necessarily buy happiness. A truly satisfying cigar doesn’t have to be a costly cigar.
Go forth then, play the field.
The cigar you carry close to your heart is right around the corner.
A boon companion that will make the small search more than worthwhile.
A smoke that will comfort you when you’re feeling low, relax you when you are tense.
Cigars never argue with you. Never lose their shape. Do not pack up and go home to mother. And are not economically ruinous.
Of course, finding the right cigar isn’t quite as rewarding as finding the right woman.
But then again, what is?
(Cigar Institute of America, 1967)
Oh man. So many things wrong with that, first of all a curvaceous cigar? Is that even a thing? I suppose there are some positive aspects here if you dig for them. First of all women ARE NOT, repeat, NOT like cigars. Women are not rolled up tobacco that you smoke as a symbol of your manhood or riches, or to calm your nerves, or whatever. Anytime you compare a person to an object it immediately De-humanizes it, so there’s that. But, then it reminds you that money isn’t everything when it comes to love, OK that’s fine. THEN, wait what? A cigar will never lose its shape or run home to mother OR wait for it…. Be economically ruinous? Jesus, really? Yeah and a cigar will never be your intellectual, emotional, or sexual companion or teammate so there’s that. A cigar will never better you as a person or global citizen by adding a sense of emotional intimacy, connection, and love to your life. Have you tried talking with a cigar? They are rather boring and uneducated, and their taste in music sucks. I suppose you could stick one up your … and derive some pleasure from that. You can be a lonely sad weirdo with rectal cancer from years of shoving cigars in places you shouldn’t, but hey you will still have your MONEY. Finally, the ad closes with saying: but hey, women aren’t cigars, and finding a great one is really the best reward there is. But wait, even that is slightly backhanded isn’t it? Sigh, just another ad sitting away in an old magazine on a quiet and dusty fourth floor periodical shelf, but something to think about on this slow Sunday.