Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Toasted!

One of my favorite lines in Soapdish is when Kevin Kline says, "Oh yes, the old days. So long ago, we had cigarette commercials done by doctors."

In late 2008, the NY Public Library had an exhibit of old timey cigarette ads. It was hee-larious. (It's also infuriating when you think of people like my Grandfather who died of cancer directly caused by 40 years of smoking and most of those years, they was encouraged by such ads. But I decided to go with hilarious.)

I meant to blog about it at the time, but organized, I am not.

You can see most of them in this online gallery. Aside from doctors and dentists recommending specific brands, and pictures of Santa lighting up, there are several ads that use the slogan, "It's toasted!" I guess they tasted differently, but it just sounds random to me. You could just as easily say, "It's brown!" or "It's smoky!" The ads say that the toasting removes the "dangerous irritants" that "cause throat irritation and coughing" but ya know, I'm kinda not buying it.

Seeing those ads, I felt like the Ferengi in that episode of Star Trek DS9 where they got sent to Roswell in the 1940s. They were offered cigarettes, tried to smoke them and then scanned them with their tricorders, which revealed how deadly they are. One of them said something like, "if they'll smoke these things, they'll buy anything. We're gonna be rich!"

What ads make you cringe at the memory? Which current ones do you think we'll be rolling our eyes at 40 years from now.

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  1. I actually really liked the ads I used to collect them. My favourites which may or may not be shown in the link had Ronald Reagan, John Wayne and Jack Webb in them.(not in the same ad although that would be awesome) Yes sometimes I do have the occasional cigarette because I do love the flavour but I don't do so very often. Today's amusing (to me anyway ad is:
    Eliminate Third-hand Smok
    GoneSmoke 'n' Odor Eliminator fights dangerous third-hand smoke

    Ha! So does febreeze

  2. LOL. Love the Ferengi quote. Hated the Ferengi prosthetics, but the they knew how to make money off a disaster.

    Frap you, Jen, now I have to see that episode.

  3. Forty years from now, I hope we're all rolling our eyes at the ads depicting women as the dishwashers, floor moppers, vacuumers, laundry doers, and cooks in the home. (The only time we ever see men doing these things in ads is in the context of "look how inept a man is at this!") What do you think the odds are?

  4. I liked the subway ad with the skeleton offering a very young African-American youth a light. "First they made us pick it, and now they want us to smoke it." Cancer AND racism - is there no end to the sinister whitey plot? :o)


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