Karin has nearly every issue of LIFE magazine ever printed. I was thumbing through a few stacks of them over the weekend and found some wonderfully timely advertisements from waaaaaaaaaay back. Thought I’d share them with you here.
By the way, I’m thinking about making a regular thing of posting these scans here at Cthulhu is my Copilot, so if you want to see more of this old stuff, be sure to let me know.
Hey, look! Santa Claus reeks of filterless Lucky Strikes! If this ad from the back cover of the December 21, 1936 issue of LIFE magazine is any indicator, Jolly Ol’ St. Nick probably smelled like sweaty Uncle Louie:
OK, not only does he smoke these bad boys himself, but he signs his name to written testimony declaring that Luckies express “the spirit of Christmas-giving” and “bring pleasure to every home”. That’s sort of like boozing a hole through your stomach and then claiming a bleeding ulcer epitomizes human well-being and is an asset to each and every body.
Of course, his proclivity towards bare-ass Lucky Strikes doesn’t preclude him from being a shill for RJ Reynolds on the side, as this ad from page 29 of the same issue demonstrates:
Note that he isn’t smoking a Camel, nor does he actually have a lit Camel anywhere about. There is also no signed document of lofty praise. No, Santa’s a Lucky Strike man and this merely covers the difference on that fancy organic feed Rudolph and Vixen demand.
Take a look at this sultry ad from page 8 of the December 4, 1950 issue of LIFE magazine:
The obvious message one takes away from this ad is: “Give Your Lady Stockings and Lingerie by Mojud!” The second half to the advertisement’s directive is subtle, but just as important: “Or Someone Else Will, Loser.”
Just look at Kris Kringle blowing his warm cocoa-breath in her ear. Who knows what raunchy things he’s suggesting to her, but it’s unmistakable that she’s liking it! Can you believe it? Look at that! Santa Claus is seducing your wife! I bet he’s got a pair of silk and lace crotchless in his sack just for her, too! Geez, you might as well put the new gravy boat away, dumbass; you’ve clearly misread the woman’s holiday desires!
By the early sixties, Santa had moved on to voyeurism, as this ad from the inside front cover of the December 13, 1963 issue shows:
The ad says “Color in 50 seconds is only half of it”. Yeah, no shit. The other half is the police uncovering the torture den of some slimy Santa-Gacy and finding it lined with Polaroids like this one of little Christopher and his new toy truck. Plus a few other snapshots we won’t discuss.
I'm going to keep searching these mags for other Santa ads. There has to be one of him swilling some Bacardi or Johnny Walker in here somewhere!