Sunday, August 17, 2008

Great Moments in Advertising (first in a series)

What’s with the third leg?

When this ad for Dingo boots ran, the football superstar who was then known simply as “The Juice” had been traded by the now-defunct American Football League from the Buffalo Bills to the San Francisco 49ers. It would be another 16 years before a pair of more conservative shoes that he wore on a certain evening would become evidence in the murder trial which eclipsed the impeachment of then-president Bill Clinton.

Long, long ago, in a head shop far, far away...

Back in the 1970's, when everyone from President Ford’s son on down “inhaled”, in the Bill Clinton sense of the word, people who couldn’t quite get the hang of rolling their own, who needed to roll lots of product for a party or who just wanted a little more convenience in the whole process bought a cigarette roller, quite possibly like the one pictured here.

The mascot in this ad looks suspiciously like a certain character from the motion picture, Star Wars (now titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope), which came out only a year earlier. Personally, I can’t think of why a protocol robot would need a rolling machine when it’s no doubt been programmed to roll 100 perfect sticks of Tattooine Purple in less time than it takes to power up a lightsaber.

Impress women with your knowledge of impedance!

This advertisement appeared not in a technical journal or audio-hobbyist magazine, but the September, 1978 issue of Penthouse magazine.

Howard W. Sams has been printing technical reference materials for the electronics industry since 1946. They have a well-deserved reputation among technicians and engineers for excellence in that field. But selling a specialized technical manual to the readership of what is politely called a “men’s magazine”? I don’t know about that.

I’ve skimmed the Audio Cyclopedia while sitting in the waiting room at an NPR station. Now out of print, it was a great textbook for anyone who wanted to seriously study the principles of analogue audio. It was an excellent reference guide for anyone who worked in a recording studio, a motion-picture studio, a broadcast facility or an audio or video archive. For anyone else, it was probably too technical and too expensive.

Click any image to enlarge.

The preceding advertisements appeared in Penthouse magazine, September 1978.

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