Ads Were Primitive Then

Ad Age sees similarities between 1938 and today, particularly as expressed in the pages of Fortune Magazine.

Rising unemployment. Weak economic activity. Competitive upheaval. Technology transforming work and play. Revolutionary changes in the media world. An uncertain international environment.
Yup, times were tough in 1938.

The Ad Age piece also features several self-promo ads from agencies selling their services in the pages of Fortune, something we rarely see today.
Of course, if we did see such ads today they would look nothing like they did in ’38. Let’s compare and contrast. Here’s a contemporary self-promo ad from McCann in Honduras:



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.