Do you have children? Do you feed them? If you answered YES to both of these questions, then I have another one for you.
When you feed your children; do they look like crazy, demon possessed, insane asylum patients?
The Corporate America of yesteryear certainly felt that they did – as evidenced by many of the advertising campaigns of the past. Major corporations bought advertising ideas from companies who employed storyboard artists – who either had never been around children when they were eating or just simply loathed all children. Take Dom Draper, remove his misogynistic alcoholism, and then replace it with a burning hatred against anyone male or female, under 18 years old.
The children in these ads all seemed to be drawn the same way; with pig noses and unnerving smiles. Most had creepy freckles that aligned with some sinister mathematical concept first conceived by the Mayans and their death calendar. These children also all seem to be locked in an eternal stare that breaks the fourth wall and if you gaze upon them long enough, a voice begins to tell you to go burn things.
EXHIBIT A: This Van Camp’s pork and beans advert turns an already disgusting item into a geniune crime against humanity.
Who else is hungry?
The vacant stares and crazy enthusiasm for the product featured in these ads make the children way more scarier than any kid that crawls out of well and makes you watch VHS tapes. EXHIBIT B: Swift restaurant takes the Little Debbie girl and turns her into a ham steak and pea lusting crazy person.
Got milk… or any of your soul?
The children are drawn with double chins and with open mouths containing flailing, wagging tongues. EXHIBIT C: Nothing like a borderline racial slur to make you want to suck up some Canada Dry!
Ginger Ale, it’s a gateway for us Irish folk to get to that sweet, sweet whiskey! See! My cheeks are already flushed!
EXHIBIT D: This ad campaign from Van Camps unwittingly inspires the Gluttony scene from the movie Se7en
Spanish Rice in a can… yum?
The use of flushed cheeks is often over the top, producing images of children who look like they are recovering from second degree burns or a botched skin peel. EXHIBIT E: Kellogg’s props up a cadaver and feeds it corn flakes.
He’s in a suit because they just pulled him out of a coffin.
EXHIBIT F: Orange Juice is the greatest thing ever invented. Up yours, ice cream!
The horror wasn’t just limited to advertisments for food products. The concept of freckled child with a satanic stare made its way into plenty of other ads. EXHIBIT G: I can’t wait to ride my new Schwinn bicycle straight into Hell!
Eventually the ads become even less subtle as evidenced by EXHIBIT H: Let’s just draw a naked baby Lucifer. That seems a perfectly logical way to try to sell a recipe for pie made with Karo syrup.
Every time I look at this ad, all I can think about is Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones. Well, that and I need to go buy Karo syrup.
Oh and then there’s this thing… EXHIBIT I: DEAR GOD WHAT THE FLYING F*CK IS THAT?!
Kill it! Kill it with fire!
Luckily, photography replaced illustrations as the principle media for pushing products on the American consumer, and we no longer had to look at bizarre crazy looking children when deciding which bicycle, orange juice, or upset stomach remedy to purchase.
Eh… never mind.
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