You’ve gotta love early print advertisements from the 1960’s. Why? Because this is when advertising transformed and spawned a creative revolution, which is perfectly summed up in Fast Company’s “The Future of Advertising.”

Like a beetle preserved in amber, the practice of advertising has sat virtually unchanged for the last half-century. Before 1960, ad making was a solitary practice. Copywriters toiled away on words to pitch a product, then handed them off to an art director who translated them into an illustration or photograph. Creative director Bill Bernbach (the B in DDB) changed all that when he recognized that pairing wordsmith and artist could spark genius. That simple move ignited the industry’s creative revolution, raising the practice of advertising from sleazy salesmanship to some permutation of art.

Ahh yes, Bill Bernbach, best known for his work with Volkswagen. No one could compete with Bernbach, which made agencies pay more attention to the role of the Creative Director. His work also led to agencies and clients developing a better understanding of the value and importance that art and copy has within advertising.

The ad that changed everything. Volkswagen’s “Think Small” campaign created by Bill Bernbach (source: DDB)

      But wait there’s more! Found this site on Reddit a while back, which showcases a lot of ads from the 1960’s. Some well done, some blatantly sexist, and some with interesting messaging. These are a few that stood out to me the most, mixed with a few from my Pinterest board. Take a look!

1968 American Airlines – Mom?

1968 Canon – Still a powerful player in the world today, who beat out the concept of “a Kodak moment”.

1968 Pepsi – Even though Coke had a powerful campaign at this time itself, I really like the copy in this one.

1963 Honda – Yes, please bring her back alive.

1966 Marlboro – Campaign by Leo Burnett, which lasted for quite a while…

1968 Tiparillo – Dear lord, no comment..

1966 Faberge – I do like the tigress in this ad, quite the cat’s meow.

1969 Budweiser – Wait, so Budweiser is the King of beers and Miller is the champagne of beers?

1969 Schlitz- My creative strategy teacher used to go on and on about how bad this beer was. This campaign was not very successful, nor did the beer taste any good. No wonder we don’t have Schlitz today!