Gypsy Creams

“emotional blackmail” Tag

Too Much Bother?

Woman / 25 December 1965

I can only presume that this campaign was in response to consumer research, but I must admit that I’m puzzled. Surely, if you’re already being kept up by a bunged-up kid, rubbing some Vicks on their chest isn’t THAT much of a hardship?

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Sno-Mist

Men Only / July 1950

Well, it’s not quite as awful as this corker from Amplex, but how fascinating to see men’s grooming as closely scrutinised as women’s, so early on in the development of deodorant. Naturally, the approach is to appeal to men’s ambition, rather than whether their very existence is causing offence to others, but the message is clear; high-ranking men might sweat the same as a spot welder, but they’re not allowed to show it.

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Time You Joined the TA

Men Only / September 1951

Given recent events in the Crimea, this feels oddly timely, but of course it’s another part of the campaign that this ad comes from. By the way, I think the illustration is of hand grips on the Tube stock of the day, but it took me a couple of minutes to work it out!

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An unusual TA recruitment tactic

Men Only / July 1950

Ah, nothing like a bit of emotional blackmail to help a government hedge its bets in a brave new post-WW2 world.

The Territorial Army is the official reserve armed force for the UK, although the situation in 1951 was complicated by the fact that conscription into National Service for 17-21 year olds wasn’t to end until the early 1960s. However, the advert here is aimed at men who served in WW2 and had been sent home after the war to either continue to support their families, or to start one. Given that some conscripts weren’t sent home until 1949, it seems rather unfair to immediately haul them back, just because Britain wasn’t getting its own way in the post-WW2 world.

But then, for men brought up on the idea of British Empire, the early 1950s would indeed have been frightening; the various conflicts related to the Cold War, such as the Korean War lasting from 1950-1953, the Malayan Emergency lasting throughout the 1950s, and the chaos of Indian independence in 1947 would have all contributed to a feeling of the world order as most Britons knew it falling apart. No wonder some feared that they’d have to go through it all again.

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Womanhood

Men Only / September 1951

I think the copywriters might have sunk several pints themselves in the sun, because this advert has many words, few of which make any real sense. The comment referring to ‘womanlike’ is very confused, and it’s hard to make out who is actually being sold to. Perhaps this is the sort of rambling mess these ad men offered their own wives when stumbling back from a long liquid lunch.

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Keeping It In The Family

Woman's Weekly / 30th April 1965

Ah, the past. Young heterosexual relationships are rarely policed in this fashion nowadays, of course, but we can’t make the same assumptions for everyone. It’s also worth noticing that there’s no mention of whether race is playing a part in the father’s reaction, but, to be fair, interracial relationships were very rare in 1965. Mary actually gives some good advice here, which makes a nice change. Her advice to the young woman being sexually bullied by her boyfriend’s father, although, is quite typical of the time. A quick web search does suggest that this problem still exists nowadays, but it is a good sign that the advice given is more empowering than Mary’s, and I do get the impression that it’s a bit rarer.

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Angiers Junior Aspirin

Woman's Weekly / 26th March 1965

Blimey Nora. Somehow, I don’t think there was an equivalent advert in Playboy questioning men’s fatherhood skills. Despite the wider range of men’s magazines available nowadays, there still aren’t, but women are still fed a good spoonful of guilt in adverts aimed at them. Why do we put up with it?

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Bad Hair Holiday

Woman's Weekly / 25th June 1965

Here’s another advert insulting older women from Prom. This time, they’re suggesting that it’s even worth cancelling your holiday if you’re not happy with your hair. After all, you wouldn’t want to show your husband up, would you?

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Prom

Woman's Weekly / 2nd April 1965

Right. So this advert’s saying that you can’t attend family events if your hair’s a bit of a state, as if any of your loved ones would really give a damn. Still, Prom does look tempting; after all, you might get flirted with by a camp-looking photographer!

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Gibbs

Woman's Weekly / 20th March 1965

This all raises the question: what WAS Mrs Earl of Lewisham doing before to strengthen her family’s teeth?

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