So Much Comment Fodder in This Ad – So Little Time

Here is the ad I modified for this week’s header graphic. The mind reels with possibilities.

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First of all, I like the appeal to the authority of psychology. For smokers desperate for a justification for continuing the nasty, health-trashing habit, this must have been a real lifeline. “Look buster, it’s a psychological fact. These smokes make me a better person! NOW STEP OFF!”

On the other hand, I’m not sure how much the average woman would have appreciated the “yip like a terrier” comment in the opening line of copy. Given that this ad was crafted in the 50s, it’s a near certainty that it was written by a man. And this ad is clearly a bunch of male ad execs’ attempt to boost Camel sales among women.

Thus the Rock Hudson appearance (this was back in the day when a girl could still dream about being dreamy Rock Hudson’s girlfriend.) But didn’t ladies find the suggestion that a package delivery error could transform them into a an obnoxious, grating pooch, a tad condescending? “Yip like a terrier” sounds more like something a grouchy cad of a husband would accuse his wife of if she protested about his weekly poker nights with the boys.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a 50’s-era cigarette ad with some bizarre hidden sexual imagery.

In this case we have woman with a dog’s head at the top of the ad. And below we have a real dog’s head with similar coloring that is hovering over the movie star’s “area.” Just truly disturbing at a number of levels.

The photo caption tells us, “You can see rugged Rock Hudson starring in U-I’s ‘Never Say Goodbye.” That would put this ad in 1956. His love interest was the lovely Cornell Borchers–a Lithuanian/German actress who probably hoped to become the next Ingrid Bergman in American films but never broke through (perhaps because her name sounds like a painful foot disorder).