Amazing Actual 'Mad Men'-Era Television Commercials

The Prelinger Archive presents a fascinating collection of classic ads from the fifties and sixties for Coca Cola, Goodyear, Marlboro, Volkswagen and more.  Some fit a traditional, slogan-driven mold, while others experiment with a little shock value -- a skydiving waiter delivers a can of Colt 45, an eating contest promotes Alka-Seltzer, and a Noah-like character fills a 1967 American Motors station wagon full of tigers, elephants and other wild animals. Their depiction of women evolves too, from totally helpless in a Goodyear spot ("this flat tire needs a man!") to professional and independent in a Coca Cola ad about a jet-set TWA stewardess. The commercials below are an excerpt from the full reel, which you can find here. What would Don Draper think of this ad copy?

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Video

Just In