Trolling with an antique save a while back (yes, in person), i came throughout an old Collier’s magazine that was published about a month prior to I was born.

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So i picked it up, just out the curiosity, to watch what was going top top in April the 1956—11 short years ~ the end of WWII. After thumbing through it then stowing it away because that years, i came throughout it again ~ we moved recently to Auburn, NY and unpacked.

What I uncovered was 108 fascinating pages the stories, political debates and individual spotlights. The cover short article featured what was playing on Broadway the season, including My same Lady v Julie Andrews, No Time because that Sergeants v Andy Griffith, Susan Strasberg in Diary of anne Frank and also Julie Harris as Joan the Arc in The Lark.

Also pour it until it is full the pages the this bi-weekly publishing were a complete of 74 print ads and even an advertorial. Shared of brand-new York, metropolitan Life Insurance agency and Knights the Columbus in reality had service reply sections to cut out and mail back in for much more information. Direct an answer alive and well in 1956!

Quick quiz: can you assumption: v which candy bar had a half-page, full-color advertisement showing an illustration of a young young in a cowboy outfit proudly holding up a stack of these liquid bars? that still renowned today. Examine the end of the write-up to view if you to be right!

Back come the ads… i did what any kind of curious, self-respecting marketing experienced would do. Diving into an er when TV heralding was top top the rise, ns catalogued the ads simply to check out what people were offering in 1956.

By the way, for you intuitive readers, a full-page advertisement measures 10.5” wide x 13.5” high.

Here’s what i learned:

1950s— the increase of the household car. follow to advertisement Age, in 1950 just 59% of families had a car. By 1956, almost all households owned one, and cars passed packaged goods and cigarettes as the top ad spend category.

In Collier, 19 ads— practically 26%— had actually something to carry out with the automotive industry. Ford, GM, and American motors all featured your best-selling autos. The Ford Victoria, the Pontiac Catalina and the AMC Nash, Hudson and also Ramblers all showed up as illustrations. Ford had actually a fascinating 2-page spread (in a perfect forerunner that what this day is called an infographic) depicting a car’s manufacturing lifecycle. It takes the reader follow me each action of the assembly heat from customer order through rolling turn off the line, all set to ship.

There were numerous motor oil ads: Havoline, Pennsylvania Oil, Pennzoil and Kendall all had colorful ads. Spark plugs, shock absorbers, human body treatment, oil treatment and tires were featured together well.

Health & Hygiene. 11 ads (15%) featured health assets or an individual hygiene. Featured products purported to treat anything from headache to backache come athlete’s foot. For men, something truly game-changing: the new Norelco shaver v “revolutionary” triple header action.


These weren’t dry times. Alcohol showed up in 10 ads, or 14%. Beer, blended whiskey and also bourbon had multiple ads, along with Johnnie walker Black and Red Scotch, presumably before they blended the Green, Gold and upscale Blue we have today. The inside front cover thrust Calvert combined Whiskey, if the inside back cover splashed a full-page, full-color ad for Old crow Bourbon. And Schlitz had a complete two-page, four-color, lifestyle-oriented beer spread.


Adding up the percentages, I discovered that over 54% of every ads dropped into the three categories above.

Want more decades-old tidbits? right here you go…

Tobacco ads. this ads became taboo ~ above TV and radio in 1971, however in 1956 there were no such restrictions. A full-page, 4-color back cover advertisement featured gibbs Phil Silvers smoking a Camel tobacco for “pure pleasure”. No Surgeon general warning…yet.


Clothing. Fedoras, top coats, slacks and also shoes do by the now defunct Endicott Johnson (Binghamton, NY) verified the well-dressed guy of the 1950s. Through the way, all men still wore shirts and also ties, also on picnics. The females were “dressed to the nines”, all through form-fitting, mid-calf length dresses. In a vast bulk of the ads, world were illustrated as illustrations, not in photographs.


One movie to be featured: The male in the Gray Flannel Suit through Gregory Peck.

Food. just one food item showed up in a full-page, four-color ad for Campbell’s Beef Soup. Follow & Sanborn inserted a half-page advertisement for its have the right to of coffee. Headline: “Whoosh…this coffee speak you it’s fresher!” Tagline: “Fresher since it’s pressure packed.” Hmmm, well done. Theatre perfectly turn off the headline. Yet I digress…

For girlfriend golfers, Titleist developed a quarter-page ad claiming “more pros played Titleist in major tournaments than any other ball.”

Some points haven’t changed.

I viewed this newspaper that lugged me back to my birth year through the eyes of who who has experienced firsthand how much media has changed. However as ns did, ns realized that the an ext things change, the much more they remain the same. Over the critical 60+ years, advertisers have had actually to adjust their media mix and also messaging to attract brand-new generations of consumers and adopt their media the choice.

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In 1956, magazines and newspapers were contending with the up-and-coming media of television for heralding dollars. Today, television and print advertisers are being overtaken by digital advertising, projected to more than 50% of ad spend dollars in 2020. As savvy marketers, us must continue to adapt and change with the times, mastering brand-new media and also strategies the seem to evolve faster than ever.

And the prize is…

Oh, and also that liquid bar featured in 1956 it is still renowned with today’s tagline? (“Nobody much better lay a finger top top my…”)

Butterfinger! The 1956 headline? “Boy, space we gonna have a party!”