The 1960s will always be remembered as a significant decade of strong social and political change. The modern era and how we live today started in the 60s. There was also a creative revolution during that time where the restraints of previous generations where no longer applicable and things that were not previously ‘acceptable’ were now embraced. Advertising showcased this creative freedom, and became much more about the art and imagery of selling than just information.
It was a time of large visuals in adverts, as well as catchy slogans. Brands established themselves through imagery and selling a lifestyle: the modern era. Advertisers were quick to spot the changing times and young people’s desire to change along, therefore many adverts were about attracting people to these new times. By associating themselves with the new products, people would be seen as embracing the modern society of the 1960s.
Many of today’s biggest brands had an impact on the advertising revolution of the 60s, with their ads very similar to what they are today. Actress Cybill Shepherd was the face of Cover Girl Cosmetics in the 60s, and even though the faces have changed, the clean-cut, minimalist style is still very much part of the Cover Girl brand and advertising.
Many of the modern appliances in the home today become available for consumption in the 60s. Therefore advertisers had plenty of new and modern products to sell, and that’s what made being in advertising during that time so exciting. There was much emphasis on selling modern appliances such as washing machines to the modern woman.
It was also the era of materialism, where product differentiation and symbolism started. Advertisers were able to create an air of superiority around certain products to attract customers. Everything from shoes to alcohol received the spin treatment.
Coupons also become popular during that time, with special offers around ever corner.
It was truly the beginning of the information age, a time where anything was possible and pioneers like David Oglivy ruled Madison Avenue.