Little Ads - Big promises to big nerds.

In Popular Mechanics / Mechanix Illustrated / Science and mechanics / Virgin Geek magazine, you'll find pages filled with these little ads. They're clearly aimed at unfortunate weenies who want to be sold the dream of having super powers... or maybe their very own chicken farm.

You can still find the modern equivalent of these ads in Popular Mechanics / Popular Science / Unpopular Gearhead. Mostly, the modern versions of these ads are about boner pills or pheromone-based seduce-any-woman-you-want cologne or live-forever dietary supplements. Sigh. Don't get me started on "dietary supplements". You can legally sell broken glass and cyanide tablets so long as you label it as a "dietary supplement". Anyway, these ads are your gateway to the superlife you've always dreamed of. I'm sure the company is still around, so feel free to send them money, adjusted for the rate of inflation, of course.

Don't pretend you don't want a cloud of squiggly numbers floating around your head. Look how happy the clip art man is. Come on, the book is bound in cloth. Cloth!!!

Nobody will read the text. All you need to know is that if you're an artist, you can get chicks to take off their clothes for you to stare at them. That's the only reason anybody ever became an artist. It totally works, too. Rush order today.
Umm, I think they meant to type "yoga". "Yogi" is a practitioner of yoga or a baseball player. Alternately, the author of the ad was making up any silly crap just to sell a pamphlet. Or the headline was supposed to read "Learn, yogi!", implying that you are already a yogi but you still have something you need to learn from their book. The man in the picture seems to believe that he's made the most of what he's got, which apparently are his breasts. Look how he's cupping them! Also, those lines shooting out of his head are pretty snazzy. People would listen to what you say if you had a set of radial head-mounted lines. Hmm. Maybe I'll try this one.

Wow. Look at that guy. With hand gestures like that, you could persuade anybody to "laugh, cry and ACT". Huh? Make people act? That's a weird claim. Looking at those persuasive hands, I bet Al Piemonte was a student of this speaking course.

Just in case you forgot what happiness looks like, they've included this picture to remind you how to make a happy face, and that Al Capone was a fine example of happiness.

Yep. Poultry raising. Very lucrative, and a completely non-disgusting way to make money in your back yard. Chapter 1: "How to raise chickens". Chapters 2-27: "Litigation advice for those with neighbors who don't appreciate the noise or smell of chicken farming."

I needs me some "self-mastory". Gotta get me some mental science, stat!

THE Eugene Feuchtingtheinger? Wups! Looks like ol' Eugene's still in the biz. Look at this. Weird. I hope it's still him at the front of the class room, hopefully in zombie form. The ad's from 1953, so he could be alive, but old. I'd put more effort into a class if I was afraid the professor would eat my brain if I didn't pay attention. Weird picture. I understand why they used the gaping mouth profile, wonky drawing though it is. But what's with the short-legged figure with the briefcase? What are the dots around his feet? He kind of looks like Toulouse Lautrec. Creepy clip art or no, I still want to have a "prefect voice". I guess I'll look elsewhere for  perfect spelling.

No bogus claims here. "Popular songs the public goes wild over." You can definitely make a pop song with a formula. Some lucky reader may have ordered this course and written the next "Who Released the Dogs?" of 1953.

As anyone will tell you, doctors are the ones to ask about happy marriage. Maybe when you walk into the doctor's office, the receptionist would ask "Happy marriage or prostate trouble?". Must have got a discount for buying two ads.

Hypnotism only works on those who want to be hypnotized. You can't hypnotize anyone against their will, cartoons notwithstanding. If hypnotism worked, I wouldn't be able to NOT send in a check to this ad.

Screw memory. I want to be able to shoot lightning from my head and have it spell things in the air.

Heh. I don't care what the ad says. I love the little man holding money with little dollar signs squirting out of it. Very persuasive! Make me that guy who has so much money he can't hold all the dollar signs in one hand!

Swedish body massage. Step 1: Rub fat man's back. Step 2: Do NOT let fat man turn over! If he complains, apologize in fake Swedish: "Svergey bergey svervey wuurg. Der verrven gurrben!"


Craig F. said...

Boy, it's a good thing VirGeek magazine offered a coupon for these ads.

If the contemporary Virgin Geek were to send out mailings from home, circa 1953, with envelopes addressed to:

"Prostate Gland Disorder"
"Body Massage"
"Sex Happiness"
"Poultry Raising"

...he'd have J. Edgar Hoover and his frilly, lace panties busting the door down before the spit on the stamp dried.

Phil Are Go! said...

Here's an interesting exercise: while watching any TV show or reading a magazine, keep track of what kind of ads they run. This will give you a pretty clear idea of what they think their readers/viewers are like. Usually, I wind up insulted and I go do something else.

Thanks for the comment, CF!

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