Like Drunk History for Ad People

Tales of the crazy-ass people, ideas, and moments that shaped ad history. (& sometimes gin).

When People Freaked the [email protected]*$ Out About Subliminal Advertising

In 1957, a failing market researcher created a hoax that still persists today. James Vicary claimed that by inserting frames that read "EAT POPCORN" or "DRINK COCA COLA" in movies, he had increased popcorn and Coke sales significantly.

His experiment, which had never actually been conducted, and whose alleged results could never be replicated, was mentioned in Vance Packard's "Hidden Persuaders," a best-seller book. Together, Packard and Vicary officially created the popular...

Do go on.

Three Reasons Why Freud Matters to Advertising

advertising consumer freud Nov 09, 2017

"Freud has been totally discredited, and NO ONE takes him seriously anymore. NO ONE!

This is what one of my professors declared during a class some years ago at KU.  There may have been an emphatic slap on the table, too, to make his point. 

Turns out, though, that my teacher was only 50% correct. Discredited, yes. But irrelevant? Certainly not. Especially where advertising is concerned. 

So if penis envy, oral fixations, and Oedipal complexes are...

Do go on.

Great Propaganda: The Beer v. Gin Battle of 1751

beer gin Nov 02, 2017
Do go on.

Them Heavy People: When Constipation Ads Ruled [SFW, I promise]

Back in grad school, I took a class called "Body, Self, and Society." Long semester short, one day the professor talked about a time when constipation was very much on the publics' mind.

As he showed us a series of constipation ads from 1890s-1950s, it highlighted what I think, in retrospect, is a pretty interesting moment in Ad History. A moment when health products stopped solving health problems--instead, they were solving your relationship problems.

Take a look at some of...

Do go on.

The Most Influential Man Ever: Four Facts About Eddie Bernays

If you’ve ever had bacon and eggs for breakfast, grabbed an orange juice on your way out the door, drank from a Dixie cup, or washed with Ivory soap, I’ve got news for you: your actions were not your own. In fact, your daily choices—and many others—are the end result of what could be described as mind control. Yup. Mind control. And here’s the man who’s responsible:

If there’s one figure that you ought to know from the History of Advertising,...

Do go on.

The Deadliest Product Placement in History

Uncategorized Oct 12, 2017

The Easter Sunday Parade that marched down Fifth Avenue on the morning of March 31, 1929 was more than just an Easter Parade. The deadliest PR stunt in history was about to take place--and one man, Edward Bernays--was there to make sure it happened without a hitch.

Young, fashionable women stepped down the pavement with the parade--bobbed hair, smart dresses, all topped off with tight cloche hats. Suddenly, as the group passed a gaggle of photographers, a voice rang out, “Women!...

Do go on.

It's like Drunk History for Ad People, I guess.

Uncategorized Oct 05, 2017

I like parties (parties where gin is served...not like, office birthday parties or anything)--and the only thing I like better than parties is having lots of weird, delicious, succulent little stories up my sleeve to entertain at said parties. 

Consider this is your party cheat sheet. A place for me to share stories about the crazy-ass ideas, people, and moments that shaped advertising history. A place for you to get the goods that will make you an instant party Sovereign. I accept...

Do go on.