Old ads guaranteed to give joy
Thursday, March 13th, 2003
James Lileks writes, “The newspaper where I work has one copy of every paper it’s published. One copy. It’s on microfilm, and it’s a fragile medium; half of the rolls are badly scratched, and the older ones are brittle. Most people consult them for the stories, but that’s only half the joy. The real news of the day, as it pertains to the lives of the people who bought the papers, were the ads. When I’m looking at the microfilm and I see an ad I like, I hit PRINT. These are some of the old curious ads, rescued from the dark coils.” (Via the inimitable BoingBoing.)
So on his site, Lileks has posted ads for sanitary cigars, wombat coats, the New All-Electric Freshman Equiphase radio, overalls for “short and fat” farmers, fresh cigarettes, the Whoopee Cap, Norge Rollator Refrigeration, Women’s Nonrationed Winter Boots… the list goes on and on and on.
“The real news of the day, as it pertains to the lives of the people who bought the papers, were the ads.” That’s a beautiful and almost-always-overlooked thought. Ads tell a vital story, narrating and nurturing our material life.
These vacuous banners and buttons we spend our todays avoiding don’t tell a story, they don’t engage. And they won’t last.
If you are buying Blogads, please feel free to upload an image, but please don’t forget to use some words too. Tell a story. Have some fun. And we’ll keep your ad for Lileks’ granddaughter to chuckle over.