Unforgettable Vintage Ads: Exploring Controversial Classics

By Sophia Maddox | March 1, 2024

The Volkswagen Mini Automatch

Get ready to explore the clever marketing, cultural snapshots, and enduring creativity found within these timeless advertisements. From the simple charm of 1950s print ads to the bold campaigns of the '60s and '70s, each slide offers a glimpse into our past, shedding light on changing tastes, values, and societal norms. Join us in celebrating the charm and innovation of vintage ads, which still resonate today despite their departure from modern standards.

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Source: Pinterest

Volkswagen had a number of ads that poked fun at women for being bad, nervous, distracted drivers. This wide-eyed, terrified-looking woman seems afraid to be behind the wheel but Volkswagen can help her out and put her fears to rest with their easy automatic transmission. We are sure the car company was only trying to solve what they perceived to be a real problem…terrible female drivers…but the resulting ad just comes across as insulting. 

Alcoa Aluminum

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Source: Reddit

Ah, yes…women. So weak and frail that they need a big, strong man to help them with those difficult household chores, like opening a catsup bottle. Alcoa Aluminum is, of course, offering a super helpful product and, yea, we've all struggled with opening bottles from time to time. But this ad presents that innovative product in such a stereotyped way that it comes across as offensive. At least it does as we look back at it fifty-plus years later.