Today I wanted to do something a little different.

Inspired by my post yesterday — “Heads or Tails?” — I thought I would take a quick look at some Bernays ads from 95 years ago.

In this short perusal of old cigarette ads, we notice the extensive use of: before and after, specific targeting, suggestion, symbolism, repetition — and I didn’t even go into some of the more subliminal aspects of the ads, like the simple yet strategic use of colors (red for attention, passion, and desire) shapes (the Lucky strike logo is a red circle, not unlike the bullseye on a dart board) and layout of the ads.

These ads were produced with the purpose of swaying public opinion significantly to a new attitude — toward the acceptance of women smoking.

They are NOT direct response ads — they do not ask for immediate action — but instead, attempt to implant an idea in the head of the reader.

Note specifically the usage of the “Bait and Switch” — between the metaphoric & symbolic interpretation and the literal interpretation of the ad copy/images.

Type your name and primary email address below to receive the Copyganda newsletter in your inbox.