Post World War II saw the “art of the sell – modernism, wit and cultural revolutions in the 50’s and 60’s ads that changed America.” This was the beginning of television where we went from Sears Catalog “would be nice wishes” to “I’ve got to have it” TV screen shots and catchy jingles. It also began targeting kids in advertising with the advancement of programming that reached all ages, all classes.
Cigarettes and automobiles, women’s products like, hair dye, make-up, and brassieres came with the “right looks” to keep your man happy. Cigarettes! They certainly were everywhere, even at the dinner tables. The “Madmen” television series showed just about everyone smoking in their offices, their cars….along with the 3-martini lunches. Today smokers are rare and those who do are delegated to areas that don’t infringe on other’s spaces.
Madison Avenue became the home of all agencies vying for clients. Graphic artists, copy writers came in droves and set the stage. Matthew Weiner, the Madmen series creator, said that he had long been fascinated by the forces driving the giants of American business and found that Madison Avenue in the 1960’s provided a window into broader stories of wealth and power, ego, racism and sexism in the country.
Even though this was the era in which I grew up, and those around me perpetuated those times, it was why the “70’s” became radical with the “hippy, feminist and equal rights movements.” We rejected that status quo! The “perfect wife” never existed since they had no voice to be their own genuine and best version of themselves. After the war, where they had stepped up to fill the gaps left by men in combat, they did not want to be marginalized again.
About a dozen years into manipulating people via the visual airwaves, the decision makers began to realize the public was “smarter” than they gave them credit for, so advertising shifted. It’s still how the “government” has viewed the people, not smart enough to make up their own minds, so they have given us half-truths. We are demanding transparency and have, again, taken to the streets. Corporate and government cover-ups are being exposed after years of hidden agenda’s.
Sexism was certainly prevalent. No wonder women revolted. As with everything, when women are repressed, so are the communities in which they live. We’ve come a long ways, although the oppressors persist. This is why this blog exists…to inspire hope and strong women to keep moving forward and upward, in their best interests and that of us all on Mother Earth. Knowledge is power and being aware is bringing change. We are the change-makers!
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