Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Were They Thinking - Eversharp (1946)

Time for a new feature, a little thing I'm going to call "What Were They Thinking". If you pour over old magazines you're bound to come across some ads that simply make you ask, what the heck were the ad execs thinking? These ads feature a range of products and they employ everything from psychotic looking children to self-mutilating animals to supposedly entice the consumer into, well, consuming. Personally, when I come across one of these insults to the advertiser's dark art, the only urge that hits me is a desire to turn the page as quickly as possible.

So, without further delay, let's jump right into the big bin o' rotten ads. Maestro, if you'll cue the kitsch fifties intro music...

Eversharp started in 1915 with a patent for a mechanical pencil and they continued successfully through the 1940's, finally being bought out by Parker Pens in 1957. Apparently, in 1946 when this ad ran, the execs at Eversharp thought they should cash in on the nearly continuous state of war that existed between the beginning of WWII and the end of Vietnam, touting their machine gun-like repeater pencil.

But, just in case the war references weren't enough, they decided to go with something that says pencils...a vapid, slack jawed model. I mean, what says smart buy like a model who can be amazed by the simple clicking sound? I mean that's the pencil I want! The Brain-Stunner 7000, stores a year's worth of lead and reduces your IQ by 120 points per click!

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