8/27/14

Little Ads - Instant hot water and a camera monster.



Hm. I wonder why this never caught on.



I looked forward to buying all my camera equipment from this terrifying camera-person abomination, but all that's there now is a tandem bicycle:


8/26/14

Gibbs Dentifrice - Anniversary! Roll up! Roll up!

In keeping with the human tradition of celebrating arbitrary and essentially meaningless anniversaries, today we're celebrating our 1,137th post with this wonderful 1947 ad for Gibbs Dentifrice! And we don't feel a day over 1,124!

Yes, our first post ever was an ad for Gibbs Dentifrice, way back in the halcyon days of 2009. It's always embarrassing to look at your naked baby photos, or things you made long before you figured out what the hell you were doing, and our first post was full of, uuh, not many jokes and me speculating how they got the tins of tooth powder sealed inside plastic bubbles in the era before Photoshop. Funny, funny stuff, folks.

Anyway, Gibbs seems to like filling their ads with eye-filling color and fun eye candy. Good on them. Today's ad has some perfectly period-correct painting of circus imagery that rewards the wandering eye. I wonder if it was more worthwhile to go to that kind of trouble back then - you know, when people tended to read a magazine cover to cover and weren't so pressed for time? Pure speculation, there. I can't prove any of it.

"Dentifrice? What the Sam Hill is that?" you say? Well, it seems to be a pretty broad term describing any ingredient that is included in toothpaste. Say what? Yep. Even the stuff that freshens your breath can qualify as a dentifrice. Usually we just call it toothpaste these days, and apparently, before the tubular era we live in today, it came in tins.

So what's with the "Roll up! Roll up!" bit at the head of the copy? From various contexts, one could deduce that it's a thing that's familiar to English people who go to the circus. Cambridge Dictionary says this:
said, especially in the past, by someone who wanted people to come and pay to look at something unusual or interesting: "Roll up! Roll up! Come and see the amazing bearded lady!" shouted the circus man.
I suppose it's like you're calling passersby to park their, uuh, wagons, maybe? The phrase does seem to predate the auto-car. All I know is I first heard it in Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 1 (pompous much, guys?), a three-part epic prog rock song cycle with loads of Kieth Emerson's trademark keyboard spazgasms all over the place. In case you were getting laid in high school, and consequently never listened to their album Brain Salad Surgery, I'll fill you in on the story. It's about this question: "How do you create a sideshow in a post-modern world in which mainstream culture is pretty much a depraved freak show already?". Written in 1973, the song does seem a little accurate now...
And if one doubts the prophetic power of Lake's and Sinfield's lyrics, ponder "Where the seeds have withered, silent children shiver in the cold/Now their faces captured in the lenses of the jackals for gold" during the next media foray into Bosnia or the South Bronx. Or consider "Performing on a stool, we've a sight to make you drool, seven virgins and a mule" when sampling the exploitative TV wares of Jerry, Jenny, Montel et al.
  Here's the bit where he sings "Roll up!", in case you don't feel like sitting through all thirty minutes-ish of the album version, or this abridged nin-minute version, with one of Carl Palmer's tedious and awful drum waknings solos.



I, however, could use a brain-exploding synthesizer tour-de-force right now. 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky. Brush your teeth, kids.

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8/25/14

Breeze Soap - Calbert and Patsy.

Calbert and Patsy were courting. Today they decided to court in the country. And why not? Because of Breeze soap, they were both country-fresh.

 "Why, I do believe that today we sparkle." said Calbert. "Oh to be sure!" said Patsy. "For you and I have toileted with Breeze Soap this morning." "Aren't you feeling confident, Calbert?" patsy asked. "Oh gosh yes, Patsy!" said Calbert. "Say, I've got a devilish idea. Since we're in the country, and feeling so fresh, let's you and I go and frolic in the underbrush. I expect there'll be leaves to be found." "Oooooh, how grand!" Patsy enthused. "It will be ever so ebullient of us to caper in such a fashion!."

Calbert and Patsy flounced over to the undergrowth, where there were ever so many leaves. It was very country-fresh. "Do you know, Patsy, I believe that we are cool-limbed." speculated Calbert. Patsy didn't take but a moment to consider. "Oh, I should say so. You know how Breeze has such mild yet invigorating lather. I think we are cool-limbed. I can't ever recall feeling more cool-limbed that we are today." Said Patsy. "It makes me feel confident."

Calbert and Patsy were so country-fresh in the leaves that they chose to live in a hedge, near the road, forever and ever. They bathe in a puddle and the townsfolk are afraid to talk to them. The End.

8/22/14

Little Ads - Stripmuffle, Inc.

We have for you a couple of little ads from the back of a 1961 Popular Science. They both have some amusing drawing. Please be also amused as I.

If this ad ran as it is today (which it wouldn't), even if it were run in a men's interest magazine like Popular Science, you'd never get away with something as hideous as recognizing the existence of strippers... or that they are capable of smiling. Whether or not your product is an innocent refinishing product, you'd be as awful as the horrible people who pay women to take their clothes off. You'd have to grovel in twitterspace for weeks until the 24-hour news cycle got distracted by something else if you had a drawing of a stripper in your tiny ad, pulling off her glove. So, please enjoy her as a nice clip art at the bottom of the post. Let any groveling be optional, I say.


The idea that women will flock to your car if you have a loud exhaust is a hoot. If anything, it will make young men flock to your car... or the police. I used to have a Volkswagen GTI, and I put a Magnaflow exhaust on it. As soon as I started it up for the first time, I said to myself "Oh great. Now I'm one of THOSE guys." But I had already paid for it, and I was stuck with it for a few years till I couldn't take it any more. The drone in the cabin was horrible at highway speed.

I got pulled over in my neighborhood by a policeman who obviously was wanting me to speed for him. But, I was obeying the speed limit, so he pulled me for the exhaust. I imagine he was pretty annoyed at my lawfulness, but in keeping with my policy of not mouthing off to the guy who wants to write you a ticket, I didn't mouth off to the guy who wanted to write me a ticket. He chatted for a few minutes and admitted that he had a Magnaflow on his Mustang. He decided to let me go with a warning, because I told him I hated the noise, and wanted my original exhaust back. Wouldn't his Mustang be even louder than my VR6? One more thing. Why is it that American motorcycles are free to be as loud and obnoxious as they like? The police don't seem to hassle them at all, and they are typically loud enough to wake the neighbors. Okay, Rant complete.
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8/21/14

Camera News, 1931 - Amazing advancements!

I know what you're thinking. "You could have used "Amazing developments" and been all punny with the photographic theme." But no. That kind of horribly un-clever hackery is for your local six-o-clock news team. We try to keep to a higher standard of comedy here at GO Tower. Except for fart jokes.

Anyway, please enjoy this article from a 1931 issue of Popular Science trumpeting amazing new advancements in photography. Just imagine a camera with a telephoto lens that's only three feet long, or a tiny pocket camera small enough to be concealed inside a horse's mouth! Wonders!

Of amusing note is the fact that the camera "about the size of a small pill box" that can be concealed "in the palm of his hand" still needs a lens the size of a soup can stuck onto it in order to take a picture. Oh, the ways we bend the truth to come up with a hyperbolic quote.

Also curious is their use of the word "clearness" instead of "clarity". Strange.



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8/20/14

Philco Portable Televisions - Philco Are Goco!

Just to remind you how spoiled we are, please enjoy this ad for Philco portable televisions, from 1957. And to spoil you a little more, have a Graphic Gift or two.

 Advertisers in '57 loved to make up bogus names for things even more than we do now. See the handle on top of that TV where the antenna comes out? Well, because the antenna "rotates to locate the strongest signal" (which, they would have loved for you to assume was an automatic, motorized type of thing, but surely wasn't), it was called the "Scan-Tenna" handle.

These TVs are all pretty neat looking. I'm sure they were available in colors besides brown and orangey-brown. They probably just chose those colors for the ad to adhere to a vague color scheme, and maybe to keep the lady at the bottom - the only element of the ad with yellow or green in it - nice and prominent.

Oh yeah. The affordable price that Philco is so proud of? Well $160 is over $1300 in today's money. Oof. But I'm sure the fake alligator skin cabinet was an optional extra, so you probably didn't have to have that on your Philco unless you suffered from Elvis Presley levels of taste.

Art students, take note. The woman is holding out her pinky. This was done to try and show you how light the TV is, and how effortless it is to move around. Why, even this Slender Seventeen-year-old slip of a girl can whip it around without breaking her smile. Holding out the pinky is a dainty hand, used effectively here.

However, don't use the dainty pinky for everything. I've reviewed portfolios in which every hand not shoved into a pocket was holding out the pinky. There was a drawing of a fantasy dude holding a sword... with a dainty pinky. We get it: you've discovered a secret of "good art", but your new discovery is not the solution to every hand problem you're faced with. Use the pinky judiciously. If you're using the dianty hand for fantasy warrior art, you need to learn to draw more hands. Back to the woodshed with you!



This TV-lugging lady would be useful for your next movie night flyer, or a note to remind your wife about your next "hugging grownups obscene infotainment date night" together. Here she comes. You knew her in the Philco ad, but now she's on a transparent alpha background to slip into whatever composition you have in store for her. Get ready to right click her with your erect pinky in three, two, one....CLICKWITHERECTPINKYNOW!!!

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 And because you'se gots an honest face, here's the questionably styled fake alligator skin TV too. I clipped off the Scan-Tenna. Sorry. It was in my way. You're welcome.
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8/19/14

Oxydol - Cranked for clean.

It's been a while since we've heard from Picture Post magazine. Maybe you're all "WTF is Picture Post?", in which case you maybe should be all "Why don't I type that into Google and find out for my own lazy damn self?". Today, we bring you an Oxydol ad from 1951 from a woman who's really REALLY excited about her wash.

This lady has those giant, overstimulated eyes where the eyelid doesn't tough the iris. There's a few millimeters of daylight between the edge of the eyelid and the tip of the iris. That's code for "super super duper happy", but also for "super duper criminally insane" and for "It's delicious if you snort it!".

To be fair, the Oxydol lady's eyes stop short of Michele Bachmann levels of crazy. She's on a whole other level. Bachman's eyeballs are code for "The Bible says the Earth is only six thousand years old, which means I get to hide under your bed and stab you in the butt while you're sleeping while chanting nursery rhymes at you, tee hee hee." She's terrifying because she's real.



Aaaaanyway, how bout a graphic gift? This wash day wastrel and her urchin can both add a little unnecessary enthusiasm to an email or a note left on the fridge, so why not right click them into your P.A.G. archive folder?

You could write just about anything on that tablecloth she's holding, like "Don't look for me. You can wash out your own skid marks from now on, pig." or "Start cleaning up after yourself or get out."


And what about the boy with all that self esteem? Just imagine him on your fridge with the caption "Guess who shit the bed last night?" That's just a serving suggestion, but having this adorable ragamuffin on your hard drive means you'll be ready if such an occasion comes up. Don't be caught unprepared. You're welcome!


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