I have long believed that a part of America’s innocence died when automakers began using photography in advertising instead of drawings.
Not only did old-school renderings allow for the wonderful (and deceptive?) exaggeration of a given vehicle’s proportions, they also allowed ad folks to create environments and situations that could never be realized with cold, stark photography.
One peculiar ad type employed mostly in the late Forties and early Fifties was the giant-head ad. I can’t say exactly what it was these ads were intended to convey. It would seem an ad meant to pitch a car ought to feature a car, but these ads featured people—which is charming, somehow.
I have gathered five giant-floating-head ads here for your enjoyment. Have a favorite class-era car ad type? Let’s hear about it.