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CommercialClack – Yay! Nifty (sexist) vintage television ads!

While some of us might yearn for the wonderful world of black and white, the mannerisms back then leave much to be desired as we see in this week's CommercialClack.

Michael: And we’re off! I discovered these little gems thinking they’d make perfect fodder for a CommercialClack chapter. Not only do they fill me with a sense of nostalgia, but it’s pretty evident the days of black and white had their “issues” too … as is evident with the first one, the Folgers ad.

It’s all pretty primitive by today’s standards, but there are some interesting things of note typical of those days. While most of the commercial is laughable, the one thing that really got me was the end of the piece: I was a bit surprised at the “Whooo!” Wifey-Poo cooed when Hubby dove in with his “thank you.” A touch racy there, if you ask me.

Tara: If you’re “nostalgic” for these kind of times, you’re a Neanderthal. First of all, he’s completely mean to her in the first part of the ad, blowing a fit about his coffee and chucking it in the flower bed. How juvenile! Right there if I was “Wifey – Poo” (ugh) I would have told him to make his own freaking coffee from that point on.

Michael: Oh … I hear you:

Tara: Then she goes to “Papa Eddie” at the grocery store for advice, and he treats her like a real ditz. He feels he has to make the symbol of a mountain for her small little woman brain to understand the term “mountain grown?” I cannot believe women everywhere didn’t tell the Folger company to stick it. Or that it was even acceptable in the 1950’s to view women like this.

Hey. I know it was a “gentler” time when women had “roles” in the home, and none in the workplace. But this ad is just plain insultingly rude. You can see the utter look of fear on her face at dinner, that the dolt she’s married to may still not like her offering. What would it have been okay for him to do in that instance? Clock her one??

Michael: This next ditty has got all the makings of a Hollywood production. It’s got intrigue (“… there was an ordinary little girl who was quite beautiful …”), an “oooooooh, aaaaaaaaaaah” factor (” … she met an ordinary handsome boy …”), a reality check (“… in real life, however, a girl has to work at living happily ever after …”), sexist blather (“Well … she still is beautiful, slim and attractive. No wonder, since she sensibly follows the modern trend toward lighter diet …”) and, finally, product endorsement (“It refreshes without filling …”). Who could ask for anything more? The one thing they forgot to state is that it tastes like like mold. But … we’ve been down that road before.

Tara: Argh! You’re trying to kill me this week, aren’t you? First of all, so condescending. Shopping is her competitive sport? Like women couldn’t possibly take part in athletic games or be good at them. And her trophy is a shiny purse … how cute. Because everyone knows we’ll do anything for a shiny accessory!

As far as Pepsi never being too filling or too sweet? Tell me another one. Whenever I drink soda, I feel like I’ve swallowed a beach ball, not to mention being as lethargic as a dead squirrel.

The only thing Pepsi got right in this commercial is that walking is good for you.

Michael: Now … let’s be fair, Tara: To some women, shopping is a competitive sport.

Tara: *rolls eyes* Next!! (I’m not even sure I can handle another one of these.)

Michael: I’ve saved the best for last. Let’s take a looksy …

Tara: I was right. I couldn’t handle another one of these. At this point? I’m cowering for my Mother’s generation. In a lot of ways, this chick is the worst of all. Okay, now women are allowed in the workplace, but they have to wear sexy dresses and talk like Marilyn Monroe …  and be patted on the behind and patronized for “only knowing how to push a button??”

Save me. Are we in an episode of Mad Men right now?

Michael: I can’t comment on that … never seen the show.

Tara: These aren’t “nifty” Michael. They reflect a part of history that was complete bullshit that I’m more than glad is gone.

Michael: I’m not so certain. Doritos ad with the chick in the laundromat doing the splits while deftly catching Ninja-tossed chips? Remember that one? How about the current “The Hopper” ads with the Bostonians? Shoving a fishing net in the stairwell and demanding meatloaf and a couple beers isn’t in the forefront of modernism and manners.

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3 Responses to “CommercialClack – Yay! Nifty (sexist) vintage television ads!”

August 25, 2012 at 3:47 PM

This, right here, is why I hated the 50’s. Mad Men and Happy Days try to glamorize the era, but it was sexist, racist, conformity ruled, and if you stepped out of line you were ostracized and condemned. Girls weren’t worth educating, because they were only going to be wives and mothers and slaves to home and family.

Now there’s a drive to push women back into that. Sadly enough, some women buy into it. Grrr!!

August 25, 2012 at 11:40 PM

That Folger’s Ad is tagged as from the 60’s, which makes me wonder if Wifey-Poo really is the middle daughter in the Shady Rest water tower. Hard to tell from this clip.

August 26, 2012 at 3:00 AM

These commercials are so much fun from a historical standpoint. I love them!

And I will add that it is my greatest joy to hold the vocation as Mother. :)

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