By David Futrelle
With Christmas only a couple of days away, I decided to put together a little roundup of some of the most wildly misogynistic Christmas ads from the Mad Men era — loosely and somewhat expansively defined as the mid-50s through the mid-70s.
Looking through a number of examples — I borrowed a bunch from a big collection of them here — I was struck by how weirdly horny a lot of the old Christmas ads were. Now, obviously sex sells, and advertisers look for any excuse to work it into their ads. But I have to say I was a little startled to see how eager the ad execs of the Mad Men era were to shoehorn sex into the stereotypically wholesome world of Christmas ads.
I was also a bit surprised by how often Santa himself figured in these sexy ads. Evidently the real-life Mad Men of the era spent a lot of time thinking about Santa fucking.
Let’s start our tour of Horny Vintage Christmas ads with an example of a Christmas-ized version of one strangely popular ad trope from that bygone era: Women positively ecstatic over household appliances. Though in this case the woman in question is portrayed as being as excited by the symbolic submission as she is by the Hoover itself.
But it’s not just appliances that arouse this level of lust. This is definitely the horniest ad for spoons I’ve ever seen.
And somehow this ad for boot polish managed to be even hornier, to the point that the model’s nipples are visible. Was this one aimed at actual shoe and boot fetishists? Or just at women hot for Santa?
Turns out Santa was a bit of a horndog himself. And more than a bit creepy.
Hey ladies! Wear our stockings and creepy old dudes will look up your dress!
In the minds of mid-century ad men, Santa had a wife who was kind of way to young for him — and who evidently loved ironing as much as she loved to swoon over her candy-cane daddy.
Those Mad Men really did spend a lot of time pondering the secret sex life of Santa.
And of Mrs. Claus, who had admirers of her own, and who was apparently into threesomes.
I guess the Clauses had an open relationship.
Of course, not all of that era’s sexy Christmas ads involved the Man in Red himself. There were plenty of horny ads with no Santas in sight:
On the Eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
One juicy steak
Two crab legs
Five fab desserts
Six great drinks
Seven artichokes, yep!
And a really nice pair of jugs!
There were definitely some weird Christmas traditions back in the day.
More weird ads tomorrow.
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