Design

40 Beautiful and Interesting Print Ads From the “Mad Men” Period

According to Mad Men, an American television period drama series, “mad men” was a slang term coined in the 1950s by advertisers working on Madison Avenue to refer to themselves.  Back in the 50’s-60’s print advertising was an extremely powerful marketing tool – making it a very competitive market. Print ads reflect society and its evolution, they reflect how we see each other, our desires, our pains.  Despite the fact that many of these posters could seem very different from our current trends or even inappropriate, we may find that we haven’t change that much these last 50 years, or have we ? On the other hand, sexism, racism and other forms of intolerance are now unacceptable in advertising. Advertising, however, should be an emotional persuader overall and some of these ads still have that amazing power.

Did you think “this product has to be mine” in any of these? Which one was your favourite?


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Lucky


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Lucky Men


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Blue Ribbon chicken


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Burroughs Corporation


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Camels


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Captain Morgan


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Chesterfield


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Corvette


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Dewar’s White Label Scotch Ad Bruce Clan Bag Pipes (1959)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Frigidaire


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Jerry Lewis MDA KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken (1968)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Kellogg (1963)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Levis


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Listerine Antiseptic Two-fisted (1969)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Motorola


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- National Trailways Bus System 1951


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Pan Am Airlines (1957)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Ritz Crackers AND Pabst Beer Johnny Weissmuller (1950)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Smirnoff


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Tampax (1963)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Trans World Airline’s TWA Constellation (1953)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Vespa


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Volkswagen


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Blue Ribbon


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Camels 2


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Campbell’s


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Chanel No 5 Spray Cologne Perfume (1969)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Clairol (1961)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Craven


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Ford Fairlane


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Honda


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Kellogg (1961)


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- National Trailways Bus System 1951


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Pontiac Bolero


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Schlitz


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Sony


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Tide


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Twiggy Lashes


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Volkswagen 2


Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Print Ads from the Mad Men Period- Western Electric


Loved this selection? Check out more amazing ads here.


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Virginia Duran Blog- Amazing Beer Design- Perle

22 thoughts on “40 Beautiful and Interesting Print Ads From the “Mad Men” Period

    • I really like the kitchen advertisement too, so retro. I find the smoking ads shocking, I can’t believe this was legal and makes me wonder on how many things we are currently being deceived by media. The first thing that comes to my mind is war.

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      • Yes, indeed! What deception is there now? Surely there would be some in the beauty industry. And ,whatever the product, the advertisers are still trying to sell us health and wealth and success and dreams.

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      • In the same way people from the 50’s were told “hey, smoking is ok” I think now we are being deceived by “hey, they have nuclear weapons let’s start a war”.
        On the other hand, I agree with you, everyone wants to be happy and depending on societies we are sold this thing or the other. I find it very curious, after living in 4 different countries so far I’ve realized how different societies were by its TV commercials.

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    • I agree, the last Volkswagen ad is also my favourite. While doing research I found many witty and effective ads by Volkswagen. I know you always have a strong opinion, is there any you dislike very much?

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      • This might reflect my “modern” views, but the Schlitz “Don’t worry darling, you didn’t burn the beer!” ad is ghastly. It’s sexist on MANY levels. The others, especially the cigarette ads, just make me laugh (“Doctors smoke Camels” or “Smoking makes you lose weight and makes you a fit athlete”).

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  1. VW wins. The Levis ad loses. What’s that barely clothed woman doing between that man’s legs? Although… not much has changed in the (female) sex sells department of advertising.

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    • Haha good point, what is the woman in the Levi ad doing? I included it for that reason. Were people supposed to laugh at it? I really don’t get it, but I find it really funny. And yes, I have to agree about the female role in advertising. Do you think it will be over some day?

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  2. The Honda motorcycle “shape” ad could easily have been done today with a simple update to the clothing and few would object. The TV ads by Fiat morphing their 500 with a sexy Italian woman follow the same mentality: driving our vehicle is like riding a beautiful woman.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. As someone who used to work in advertising , I find this very interesting. Just wondering what our cool ads now will ads will look like in another 50 years🙂

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  4. Virginia, what a wonderful collection of ads. I just love that smoking Luck Strikes will get rid of that pesky double chin! And I’d never seen the VW ads – love ’em. And finally, I must admit that I owned a pair of Twiggy eyelashes. They were awesome!🙂 ~Terri

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    • Terri, can’t believe you got to have a pair of Twiggy’s eyelashes haha! It’s funny how we’ve changed as a society. How smoking would mean being fit and slim… it’s just crazy! My favourite ones are the Volswagen ads🙂

      Like

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