This post was most recently updated on September 23rd, 2019
It’s Day 4 of my 31 Day Series on Vintage Home Decor Ads. OK, I admit the last few ads I’ve shown you have been pretty hysterical (and I’ve sill got lots more doosies like that in the hopper). So far we’ve covered coloured toilet seats, vinyl upholstery, and avocado sinks. But not all vintage decor ads are good for a chuckle. Some of of them are downright gorgeous; as are the products they advertise. The best examples of these kinds of ads are found in the late 50s and 60s, a decade which is seen as the start of the ‘golden age of advertising’.
The 60s was an era of legendary campaigns (think Volkswagen) that revolutionized the way that advertisers engaged consumers. Advertising moved away from a shrill, repetitive hard sell that bludgeoned consumers, to an increasingly charming and tasteful approach that respected consumers’ intelligence. As ad man, David Olgilvy, famously said at the time, “The consumer is not a moron. She is your wife.” In turn, ad copy got shorter, headlines got wittier, and photography got a whole lot prettier.
Take for instance this ‘decor’ ad from 1966 for International Nickel. The photo of this retro-style lawn chair in the snow is beautifully directed. The juxtaposition between the snow and the patio chair makes it visually arresting, and helps tell the ad’s story better than words could. That’s why the copy can be short, taking up less than a fifth of the page.
But enough about the ad. How about that patio chair? Yum. Just look at the lines in the arms and legs. Stunning. It’s a gorgeous example of the kind of 60s ‘retro’ home decor that is hotly sought after today.
I hope today’s vintage ad proves that despite being the era of the avocado sink and vinyl floor, the 60s was also a decade that heavily influenced both advertising AND home decor.