This post was most recently updated on September 23rd, 2019
This weekend’s been all about Halloween decorating. I can’t wait to show some of the things I’ve been up to over the last few days. But, for now, I owe you ads 15 and 16 in my “31 Days” series on vintage home decor ads! So here, for your entertainment, is a double feature for missing yesterday’s post!
Last week, we visited the late 60s and early 70s with a look at recessed bathroom fixtures, a psychedelic mood-matching fridge, and pretty mod linens. Tonight I’m still stuck in that groovy decade.
Just like ‘harvest gold’ appliances and fondue pots, shag carpet has gone down in history as a 70s pop culture icon. So I couldn’t move on to 80s and 90s home decor advertising without first throwing a couple of totally Austin Powers-ish ‘shagedelic’ carpet ads your way! (Oh, and we can’t forget faux wood paneling, can we? But I’ll save that for tomorrow!)
Apparently, these astrological ads from Bigelow Carpet ran in 1970.
This first ad is just so quintessentially 70s! The headline reads: “Bigelow’s soft cloud patterns for Virgo.”
I was fascinated by the ad, and tried digging deeper to uncover some of the background strategy around it. Unfortunately, I came up short, with the exception of finding one more ad in this astrological series (below). Anyway, the illustration and art direction are gorgeous, and astrological reference is exactly what one might expect from the ‘new age’ 70s!
This next one from 1970 campaign seems to be a much more risqué approach to selling ‘shag’ carpet (teeheehee). It’s totally probable that my mind is simply in the gutter, but the headline certainly does seem to tiptoe on the edge of innuendo! ‘Bigelow’s never-look-tired shag for the energetic woman” (*blush*).
[To be honest, I had to wonder if the word ‘shag’ even had that (ahem) double meaning in North America back in the 70s, or whether it was just British vulgar tongue that Austin Powers made famous in the 90s. After a bit of research, it appears that it definitely would have been introduced as slang before the 70s, although its usage was much less common than now. Whether that was the intended innuendo in this ad, I have no idea! But it’s certainly pretty funny looking back on it now!]
If you look closely, this one focuses on the astrological sign of Aries.
The copy is really hard to read, but I think it says “The Aries woman is active. Assured. And a do-er. The carpet that matches her lovely personality is Bigelow’s xxxxx.” (wink!)
The second paragraph talks about it being “thick” and that “it just keeps arranging back into shape”. (uh-huh!)
I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about this one, lol!
Hope you had a fab weekend.
Hope you’ll come back again this week for more “31 Days” vintage decor ads, and some Halloween craft and decor ideas!