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3 Brilliant Vintage Ads that Would Make Headlines Today

Updated: May 1, 2023

Vintage ads that would make headlines even today


I’ll tell you this much… They don't make 'em like this anymore.

While it's exciting to see how things evolve and change, I'd go back to the roaring 30's in a heartbeat. Even if it's only for a few days. Well, especially if it’s only for a few days.

The jazz, the speakeasies and the confusion everybody probably felt, as opposed to the "I know everything" attitude going around these days.

However, when it comes to advertising, things have come a long way from the sexist vintage ads our parents used to see but not all of them were that bad.

In fact, some are brilliant.

I recently bought this book that quickly become one of my most prized possessions:

The copy book

In it, I found several examples of pure vintage advertising gold which I generally share in my on-point newsletter cause who has the time to read endless mails? Nobody.

Here's 3 of them.

1. Chivas’s "When you're pouring Chivas Regal, it's unwise to let your guests draw the line."

Chivas Regal ad

Client: Chivas Regal

Agency: DDB London

Year: 1969

Copywriter: Tony Brignull

Thus, the "When" reference.

It continues with: "So often they seem to find themselves with a mouthful of peanuts.

Or they decide to lose their voice." Indicating that they keep wanting more.

The smooth tone, the simple yet poignant visuals and the call to action at the end saying "So you shouldn't have long to wait before they buy themselves a bottle of Chivas. And give you a chance to lose your own voice." A great vintage ad that would make headlines today.

2. Volkswagen’s "The only squeaks and rattles you'll ever hear in a Volkswagen."

Volkswagen ad

Client: Volkswagen

Agency: DDB London

Year: 1990

Copywriter: Tony Cox

It subtly continues... "Who objects to decibels of delight coming from the back of their car?...

What is objectionable, is listening to the irritating results of shoddy workmanship and lazy engineering."

3. Tern Shirts - "Is your husband in another man's arms?" (one of my favorite vintage ads)

Tern Shirts ad

Client: Tern Shirts

Agency: DDB London

Year: 1967

Copywriter: Malcom Gluck

The headline is a delight, grabbing the reader's attention from the get-go but what do they mean?

"When you buy your old man a white shirt, things don't always work out right.

The collar's his size, but the sleeves are someone else's."

And they go on explaining the benefits of the Tern Shirts clothes.

My point is: while many say long copy is dead because our second attention span is shorter than ever, I believe one of 2 things is happening: either "they don't make 'em like they used to" or "we're listening too much to the statistics and it’s affecting our creativity".

But that’s just me… thinking out loud.


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