Gillette Santa Ad - Santa Tree

This ad ran in Britain's Picture Post magazine on December 6th, 1952. Apart from the general fantasticness of the wacky art style, they've gone and just combined the Christmas tree and Santa Claus into one monstrous holiday chimera. Santa Tree thinks you need a shave, and his water needs changing. Merry Christmas.

As for technique, it looks like it was airbrushed, but not in that annoying 1980's way. The artist masked off the character shape and sprayed the green fading into red. You have to be careful blending those two colors, though, because together they make a horrible "sewage gray". So, it looks like there was some yellow used in the blended area somehow, to ease the transition. Clever.

Apart from that, the rest of the ad is terrific realism. Nice shiny metal bits on the razor, really nice leather texture on the black case, and great shiny highlights on the plastic case. Don't miss the thin edge highlights on the edges of the package at the bottom of the ad. See how they show you the shiny quality of the paper wrapping? These things are subtle, but it's the subtle details that show the artist's skill.

Don't ask me what the prices mean. I think "26/3" means twenty-six thirds, or eight pounds and two cents. Jeez, that's expensive, especially for 1952. Wait. England doesn't use cents. So, it must be eight pounds and two kippers. Still pricey. That must be one hell of a razor. No, that can't be right. Ah. I have it. Eight swords and two kippers. But, why couldn't you just shave with one of the swords? Sheesh. International currency is confusing! Gotta love the English, though. Crazy money or not.


Sue said...

'Aristocrat Junior' was the name of my college punk band.

Phil Are Go! said...

Wow I didn't even read the name in the box. Editorial oversight. Oddly enough, "High School Punk Band" was the name of my college punk band. Thanks for reading, Sue!

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