an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Vintage Friday: Vanish

Posted by Rosepixie on May 14, 2010

Today I have an ad from 1949 for a toilet cleaner called Vanish that I found on a blog.

The text reads:

Social Security Hint

Don’t let the “Ghost of the Past” cast reflections on you!

A “ghost” in your bathroom is socially distressing.  For sure protection against him, use Vanish, the double-action toilet bowl cleaner that (1) deodorizes (2) as it cleans.  Its bubbling action spreads a pleasant fragrance.

New Vanish kills toilet odors as it cleans

The “social security” pun was bad enough, but the drawing makes it look almost like the woman was about to draw on the bathroom mirror with lipstick when she was startled by the ghost holding (weirdly) a miniature outhouse.  Why a miniature outhouse?  Because they traditionally smell bad?  It still seems weird and I had to look at it twice to be sure that I was seeing it correctly.

I think this ad is on the right track, it just sort of missed the mark a little bit.  I actually think the social security joke is perhaps a little too subtle and the drawing is just too busy and strange.  The rest of the text paired with a simple graphic of the can would have been much better!  Still, it’s definitely interesting and caught my attention.


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