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Pepsi had competed for years with its main rival, Coca Cola, before it saw its chance to grab the youth market with the "Pepsi Generation" campaign. The famous commercial made the choice clear: do you want to drink Coke, like your parents, or do you want to drink Pepsi, like these two hot young things zooming along a mountain vista on an awesome motorbike?
The slicked-down 'do was all the rage for men back in the '50s, and it was Brylcreem that made it possible. While this commercial seems innocent by our standards, the subtext is clear: no pretty girl will want to make time with you if your hair is a mess. Just look at the randy puppet show at the end for proof.
Sure, we live under one of the more attractive presidencies in U.S. history right now, but back in 1960, a hot Commander In Chief was a novelty. This commercial, which aired during the seminal TV debate between Kennedy and Nixon, may seem a bit hokey now, but the many images of the fresh-faced Kennedy (and his beautiful wife) made quite a stunning impression on the American public.
While still trying to break into the American market, Smirnoff disregarded subtlety in favor of outright sexuality. The advertisements, featuring ravishing models in playfully lusty poses in front of a plain background, promised in its slogan that, "It leaves you breathless!", but the question remained: the vodka, or the women?
Sure, these ads did feature women and children in their pictures, but let's face it: the kids were simply background noise. The campaign was so successful that within a few years 70% of women were coloring their hair, but it's gorgeous models and the provocatively vague question that was the campaign's slogan that made it so sexy.
Gone are the days of the "good-time gal" air stewardess, but they live on in the ads of the period. American Airlines was well known for their their attractive flight attendants (Mattel even released a line of American Airlines Barbies), and while the slogan of this campaign asked you think of these woman as your mother, the image asked you to think of her as anything but.
Foster Grant is a company that produced everything from hair products to heart pumps, but it's real claim to fame is its eyewear. The sunglasses made their mark in the '60s with the "Who's behind those Foster Grants" campaign, featuring some of the most alluring celebrities of time such as Raquel Welch, Julie Christie, and Mia Farrow, all staring out seductively from behind the shades.
This campaign, which used Dorian Leigh, one of the world's first supermodels, almost didn't see the light of day: Revlon founder Charles Revson thought the model's provocative pose (with her hands on her breasts) was simply too sexual to run. Luckily, photographer Richard Avedon re-shot the ad with new positioning, and we still got to see Leigh in that stunning outfit.
Smoking is no longer the drop-dead sexy activity it once was, but no one can deny the impact of the Marlboro Man ads. Rugged, trail-blazing, and gruffly handsome, the Marlboro Man was sexy enough that his image was able to transform what was seen at the time as an entirely feminine cigarette into a symbol of American masculinity.
Maidenform was one of the first companies to rebel against the flat-chested style of the early 20th century, so it should be no surprise their ads were just as attention-grabbing as their product. This famous campaign imagined beautiful women proudly performing outrageous activities clad only in their Maidenform bra, an act which we're sure many men (and some women) of the time would have appreciated.