16 November 2010

truth in advertising

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.

07 November 2010

vive la resistance!

It took me a week to recover, but the last week of October had a lot going on, not the least of which was Samhain/Hallowe'en. The cool part was that all of it was inexpensive, accessible, and yet somehow exclusive.

The Sunday before Hallowe'en I met up with the other members of a book club I belong to. Instead of having a book to read, we told each other about books we'd read that we really liked. I brought the books I wanted to talk about along, as did most of the people who attended, so we got to look at cover art and read back-cover blurbs as well as hear about the books — something that will come in handy when I go to look for the books other people mentioned that I want to read.

We met in a café on the Danforth, so the entire cost of that outing was just the tea I bought. Not bad for an entire afternoon spent discussing my favourite subject!

On Wednesday I went to the latest Hutch House Concert, hosted by the ever-cool Cathy & Darren. It was great checking out new (to me) music, and was a lot of fun. The sound quality was noticeably impressive — nice and clear even though we were sitting in an average-sized rec room with the dropped ceilings you always get in houses with forced-air heating. I think any concert I go to now where I don't get to sit on a couch with the musicians less than five metres away is going to be disappointing.

The week wound up with the latest edition of West End Stories on Saturday night. The ever-amazing Joan and ever-inspiring Tara showed up, and a good time was had by all. We stuck with ghost stories/weird tales for the evening in honour of the season. I told the true story of an strict atheist who saw a ghost, and discovered there are only four degrees of separation between the wrestler The Iron Sheik and me (if only I could tell my grandparents — they loved to hate him).

So, three fun events... which wound up costing me less than $25 to attend in total. Try doing that at the local shopping mall!