Applying a 1950’s Ad Campaign to Today’s Media

Is there any benefit to comparing how ad campaigns were done in the past to how they are done now?  Does the past teach us?  I would have to say… yes!

History teaches everything including the future.

I was very intrigued recently by a blog that took the successful 1950’s Miss Clairol Color Bath campaign and re-imagined it to fit today’s media.  When you look at how a successful ad campaign was implemented then and how that same product would be implemented now, it really highlights the vast changes that have taken place.  Here are just a few differences that Shannon Johnson highlights in her blog “What Would a ‘Mad Men’ Era Ad Campaign Look Like Today?”


  • Media Choices Almost Limitless
  • Competition in Advertising is Ruthless
  • Ability to Target Customer is Best Yet
  • Goal is to Create Digital Experience
  • Focused on Being the Thing People Want to Consume


  • Media Choices Very Limited
  • Easier to Make a Big Impact with Ad $
  • Used One Size Fits All Approach
  • Focused on Interrupting What People Want to Consume

My favorite quote from the article is this:  “Marketing can no longer rely on advertising that interrupts what people want to consume; it has to be the very thing people want to consume.”

She goes on to give us specifics on how she would create a successful Clairol campaign with today’s technology using social media, interactive YouTube videos and specific calls to action.  I think this activity of taking old ad campaigns and re-imaging them for today’s media could be a very useful tool for us to get our juices flowing.  Let me know what you think.


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