My mum sent me this collection of vintage ads with the comment, "The younger generation will never believe these ads actually ran!"
Would it were true.
The only ones that surprised me were the pop ads aimed at babies, especially since they were all about making sure Junior would "fit in" with his peers as a lifelong sugar addict. Even so, I can see it — there's sugary breakfast stuff out there today aimed at (slightly older) kids and their parents that makes claims about giving youngsters "an energetic start to their day" or some such euphemism. The cigarette ads... we've all heard about the cigarette ads, and I'm old enough to remember seeing the "you've come a long way, baby" Virginia Slims ads in the National Enquirer at my grandmother's house, and Marlboro Man billboards during holiday road trips to the States.
That leaves the Del Monte, "wish list," and Kenmore Chef ads from this lot. Domestic cleaning and cooking products are still aimed at women (just not at their husbands for the purposes of buying for women). Also, I know a lot of women of the "younger generation" who will pretend not to be able to open a damn ketchup bottle just so they can get a guy to do it and honestly say he "does stuff" for them.
In fact... maybe we should run ads just like these, except in the present day and for present-day situations. Let the truthiness come out, and then see what happens.