Old Gold - Just make it stop.

Dad used to relax with a cigarette. In fact, he probably relaxed maybe twenty-five times per day. What this Old Gold ad is ignoring is how un-relaxing his relaxation may be for anyone else in the house who doesn't enjoy the smell.

When dad would light up (which was more often than the times in which he wasn't lighting up), I'd shut my bedroom door and stuff a t-shirt in the gap underneath it, in a pathetic and futile attempt to keep the stink out of my room. The sitnk seemed even more intense on a bright saturday morning when it was the first sensation to wake me up, instead of, say, the smell of eggs and toast. Good times.

So, in this ad, the boy is practicing his violin in the family room? Couldn't he go practice in his bedroom? Or, maybe he's putting on a little recital for his dad? Or, maybe this family lives in a single-room yurt? That was big among LIFE's readership in 1945, right? Lots of middle-American yurtdwellers? Too many unanswered questions, man.

Anyway, you may, in the last few days, just want this shit to stop. Changing the profile pic on your FaceTube account isn't going to make that happen, but sometimes nothing will. Not in the near term, at least. But it may give your friends a laugh, though.

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Maybe you identify with the boy, whose early attempts at music went unappreciated by your parents? Hey, at least they rented him the violin, right? That's not nothing.

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And there's mom, too. She doesn't have a strong role in this little tableau, probably because this is 1945. (Well, the ad is from 1945. This is not currently the year 1945. We still live in The Future, but this shit is just getting started, so you never know.) But whatever. Here's the tolerant and dutiful mom and wife who, for some reason, loves both of these narcissistic jerks.

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Have a smoke. Do whatever gets you through the night. It's alright. It's alright.


Andrew H said...

Being a non-artist in the advertising field I have been using Mr. Are Go's free tutelage on all things arty and advertise-y to make myself appear knowledgeable and cool. The chicks dig it! So now I can say that the above item is a photo referenced drawing. Good, eh? What I don't understand is the cartoon-y 16th notes and jagged lines coming out of the violin. What I understand even less is the VERY cartoon-y action lines at the end of the bow and on the kids toe. They seem out of place like putting a cartoon bubble with the word "sigh" on my wedding picture.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Exactly yes, Andrew. If I were a betting man, I'd say this painting is heavily photo-referenced. Models hired and posed, and then painted by the artist, with minor adjustments and additions in the process.

As for the cartoony stuff, think of it this way: it's a cartoony sort of scene, with the dad in a very cartoony pose. Also, think of an art director looking over the painter's shoulder and saying stuff like this:

"How bout some wiggly lines, to show that the kid's foot is tapping? Get on that. You're welcome! Thank God I came by, right? Don't mention it."

In advertising, there's no joke that can't be improved by beating you over the head with it. If I were the artist, I'd do those silly lines on a sheet of acetate laid over the painting, so they could be thrown out after the image was photographed for print. It's also possible those were added by someone OTHER than the original artist at a later date, at the request of the art director. Anything's possible, right?

Here are some interesting pictures of model photos and the final art, as painted by Gil Elvgren. He's famous for doing pinups. It gives you some perspective on this.


Thanks for reading!


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