Today we are exposed to thousands of ads every day, a contrast to the simpler times of the 60s. Adverts come quick, convey their message, and go. They can appear on our social media timelines, on websites we visit, or they can pop up out of nowhere on our smartphones. Adverts today are not as personal, there is so many of them it is hard to remember all of them. If today’s inventions were around in the 1960s, the Mad Men would have a field day creating ads for all the devices we currently use, using their wits to make these products seem necessary to our homes. 60s ads came with a much more personal touch, often incorporating home life into their ads to make products seem much more vital to everyday life.
U Switch have made a study which investigates this idea, taking modern day devices that we use so often and giving them 1960s style adverts. Taking modern products and putting an old-fashioned twist on them to see how the Mad Men would have marketed these devices.
U Switch have created six 60s style posters for the iPhone, the Hive Home, the PlayStation 5, the Electric Bicycle, the FitBit and the Alexa. Creating a very interesting look into an alternate reality, as modern products can be seen through nostalgia tinted glasses.
Looking at the iPhone first, this is probably the most iconic piece of technology invented this millennium. We use our iPhones for so much, emails, text, business, making purchases, searching the web etc. It is a dream product for advertisers as it offers so much, the Mad Men of the 60s would have more potential mottos than they could handle. U Switch went with the slogan, ‘An iPhone a day keeps the boredom away’, with this description: ‘With more processing power than the rocket that launched Sputnik, Apple’s latest iPhone is this year’s most wanted gizmo. A record player, library and television set in one, the iPhone also supports electronic mail and social networking, putting the whole world in the palm of your hand.’ Expertly put, the description stresses the fact that the iPhone can offer the user a plethora of uses, making it seem like a very essential item to have in your household.
Next, they looked at the Hive Home, a smart central heating device that allows users to turn on their heating before they arrive home. A useful device which allows people to save energy and come home to a warm house! Something like this would fly in the 60s as they are all so home orientated in their adverts. U Switch used ‘You’ll always get a warm welcome with intelligent central heating from Hive’ as the top slogan for the product, with the product description being ‘After a long, hard day at the work, nobody wants to come home to a cold house. Well, with the new smart thermostat from Hive, you can control your heating from anywhere. Hive will even send you helpful reminders when you’ve gone out and left the heating on, so no more wasting money heating an empty home!’. Again, U Switch use the old-fashioned, warm approach to the language they use in this ad, fitting the 60s style of tone. This approach makes the product seem homely and attractive, inviting the viewer in to investigate this product further.
Next, U Switch present a 60s style advert for the new PlayStation console, video games were not as huge as they are now in the 60s, but we’re sure that the businessmen selling products would have no trouble marketing the newest PlayStation. Going with the slogan, ‘Bring your high scores home with PlayStation 5’, this playfully refers to the fact that a lot of video games would have to be played at an arcade during this time, the advantage of the PlayStation is that it can be used in someone’s house. They describe the product with, ‘It’s pinball, it’s football, it’s all your favourite fun and games from the arcade, inside your television set. The all new PlayStation 5 brings the joy of the arcade into your home, so the whole family can play together, any time of the day.’ Again, they focus on the advantages the PlayStation brings to the home, multiple games on the same console unlike arcade games and the attraction of bringing it into the family household.
The Electric Bicycle
Next, a product which does not seem so alien to 60s life. The electric bicycle is a convenient upgrade to the classic bicycle, making it an easier ride for the cyclist. U-Switch go with the motto of ‘give your legs a well-deserved rest’ and describe the product with ‘Say goodbye to difficult hill climbs and tired legs, the new electric bicycle makes cycling a breeze! Sleek, stylish, and secretly powerful, with up to 35 miles on a single charge, you can ride faster and further than ever before. It’s time to upgrade your pedal power!’ As you can tell, the 60s style of homely, catchy language is always used in these ads. This style of marketing was what worked back then, the ads intend to emphasise how each product makes your life easier, such as here as they describe how this product makes ‘cycling a breeze’.
Next is a product which would probably seem centuries away for citizens of the 1960s, but also one that would certainly be popular. Home life is such an important theme throughout all these 60s ads, so the Alexa which serves as a home assistant would receive the ad treatment. U Switch created the slogan ‘Only the Alexa will do…’ and described the product with ‘It is most pleasant to relax after a hard day at work and now you truly can with the Amazon Echo, or Alexa as she likes to be known. The perfect at-home assistant – she will play your favourite music, answer all your important questions and even dim the lights for you.’ This product would go down so well in the 60s, as anything that makes home life easier was a success in this era.
Lastly U-Switch put a spin on the FitBit, the wrist-based device which helps people see their heart rate and how many calories they have burned during a workout. A device like this on someone’s wrist would attract all kinds of attention in the 60s, to get an audience’s attention, U-Switch used the slogan ‘a personal physician on your wrist’ which does indeed sound very intriguing. The description used is ‘Small and lighter than a Rolex watch, this revolutionary little gadget can track your heartrate, the calories you’ve burned and even the number of steps you’ve walked. And for all you lovely ladies, the Fitbit can even track your fertility cycle, but don’t worry – we won’t tell your husband!’, the description uses humour well to attract an audience of women as they can use the FitBit for fertility reasons and it also sells it well suggesting it should be worn instead of a watch, ‘why wear a watch when you can use the FitBit?’ This kind of device is great for self-image and health, something that all people are concerned with, giving it a great selling point.