The return of "Mad Men" for a seventh and final season last Sunday found Don Draper watching Richard Nixon become president, a smart young executive talking up marketing mix modeling and Freddie Rumsen pitching for Accutron watches, then a technological marvel.
But what had real ad execs talking back back then? Check out some of the actual advertising headlines from January 1969, courtesy of the Advertising Age archives, starting with word that sex may be useful in selling.
Sex Becomes Potent Ad Influence
Sex was coming out in the ad world, as Grey Advertising newsletter "Grey Matters" pointed out. Whereas once sex was used subliminally, advertisers like Dodge were starting to become more risque in their approach. One of the carmaker's recent ads, for example, showed a curvy woman saying things like, "Mother warned me that there would be men like you, driving cars like that. Do you really think you can get me with that long, low, tough machine you just rolled up in?'"
Who knew late-60s Dodge could be so ... GoDaddy?
Ad Ladies Don't Let Housewifely Duties Bar 'Coping' in Ad Field
Ruth Barash, Victoria Beller, Marilyn Levine and Cassandre Stone left their agency and communications jobs at shops like McCann-Erickson, Grey and Warwick & Legler to devote their time to being mothers. But they didn't want to wait till the kids were in school to get back in the game. So they banded together to create a soup-to-nuts creative outfit, "Ad Ladies," which handled everything from creative to production for clients that didn't have big enough budgets to take on an agency of record. But that "soup to nuts" didn't apply to just advertising. As Ms. Barash pointed out in the article, even with the new company, "the pot roast will get on the table, as it always does."
Jets' Super Bowl Victory May Lead to Higher Football Ad Prices
Rising ad rates in TV sports is apparently an eternal story. After the American Football League's New York Jets beat the National Football League's Baltimore Colts in the third Super Bowl that January, Ad Age predicted that NBC would ask for a jump in ad rates for its AFL coverage. Back then it was also news that the Super Bowl was besting other sports events in ratings. The AFL was also looking forward to improved ratings once a "highly-prized" new player named O.J. Simpson arrived as a rookie in the following season.
Dancer -Fitzgerald-Sample Creates Creative Sr. VPs
Here's a reorganization story from Jan. 27, 1969, about Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample, which later became part of Saatchi & Saatchi. It's an interesting example of creatives gaining more leadership power within the agency, but we're most impressed by the dashing poses in the photograph.
Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries is Marketed Nationally
Call earlier seasons of "Mad Men" B.B. -- before berries. This report documented an epic moment in the packaged goods world, when Cap'n Crunch went wide with Crunch Berries.