In our Utah digital marketing firm, we’ve seen our fair share of trend changes. Consumers are constantly changing, and advertisers are evolving with them.
One of the most iconic periods for marketers was the 1960’s. During this era, marketers started to truly understand their customers and market to them. Fairfax M. Cone, an ad executive at the time summed it up nicely when he said:
“Good advertising is written from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone.”
This mindset sums up much of what you see in the 1960’s ad era, and it’s helped to shape some of today’s effective marketing tactics. We use this mindset when working with clients through our own Utah advertising services.
It can be useful to take a look back in time at how advertising has changed. Here’s a quick look at what’s changed in 60 years in marketing.
Traditional Ads vs. Digital
One of the most obvious differences between today’s advertisements and what we saw 60 years ago is the lack of digital components.
The iconic advertisements from this time period were made without computer programs to design each ad, meaning that artists were hired to create ads by hand. This is impressive if you look at the complexity of some of the brightly colored advertisements featuring people enjoying a product. Photographs were often used as well.
Thanks to the example of the ’60s, we know that print advertising can be highly effective. It still hasn’t died out, despite a massive switch to digital advertising means. Top talent in our Utah advertising services helps clients create print ads all the time.
However, we won’t see even close to the volume of print ads that we saw during the ’60s.
Psychological Advertising Took Center Stage
Sixty years ago, the mindset behind marketing could only be described as psychological advertising. Advertisers believed they needed to surround you constantly with ads for their products and that by doing so, you’d pick up subliminal messages encouraging you to buy.
Advertising professionals focused on developing slogans or phrases that summed up their products and used that in any advertisement. They used it on radio advertisements, newspapers, billboards, hand-out flyers, window flyers, television commercials, and more. Consumers would recognize this slogan and the associated imagery across multiple platforms and receive the message loud and clear.
The big push behind this advertising styling was to generate emotion. They recognized that people make decisions based on impulse, which generated what marketing historians might call the “Creative Revolution.”
Using brightly colored advertisements featuring real-life moments was very popular at this time. It came with subtle hints that might motivate a buyer to make a purchase. Advertisers were famous for manipulating emotion, often without others knowing it.
Unfortunately, some of the most effective advertisements of the age were for cigarette companies like Marlboro. They told consumers that in order to be cool and attractive in any crowd, you needed a cigarette in your hand. This kind of psychological draw skyrocketed sales for nicotine companies.
Thankfully, advertisements for cigarette companies have now been banned on most channels, but it illustrates the power of subliminal messaging at the time.
A Focus on the Younger Generation
This time period was also iconic for advertisers because it was the moment they realized that teenagers and young adults held spending power. This group of young people was just starting to come into their own, generating a unique culture starkly different from that of their parents. Since the economy was booming during this time and teenagers had disposable incomes, they could buy what they wanted and often did.
As such, advertisers began marketing products towards this generation. Teenagers of the period were the trendsetters of the world, and advertisements for television, music, food, and more were curated with a very youthful attitude.
The Role of Women in 1960 Advertising
Women also played a unique role in the way advertisements were run 60 years ago thanks to their imposed gender roles. Although more and more women were entering the workforce, outdated gender roles were still a large part of the way society operated.
As such, marketers often used images of women as homemakers and mothers in their ads. There was a great deal of marketing towards impressing husbands and improving a woman’s image, putting an emphasis on body weight and beauty in general.
The way that advertisers of this time portrayed women teaches us a valuable lesson about the importance of ethical advertising. Rather than spelling out any message to sell a product, it’s important to inspire and motivate, giving respect where it’s due. Such sexist messaging today could put a company out of business!
When working with clients, our digital marketing agency in Utah uses many of the best advertising ideas and tools from today and decades past. We say goodbye to outdated measures and use new technology to amplify tried and true advertising tactics. If you’re looking for Utah advertising services that focus on the best, contact us today!