Part 2 in my series of Golden Days of Advertising is on Maidenform’s “I dreamed…” advertising campaign which ran from the late 1940’s to the mid 1960’s. This series is devoted to showcasing long running advertising campaigns that were both beautiful and popular through the mid-century- the first of which was Modess.
The “I dreamed….” campaign was based upon the premise that Maidenform bras were like a dream to wear. The campaign started of with the dreamy, beautiful and subtle pictures that had an almost magical feel to them. They looked part photo, part painting in style and had all the drama of an MGM movie set…don’t you just feel like there should be a musical score accompanying each and every image?
All of the above images seem to be the day-dreams of typical early 1950’s women, the blushing debutants who came out- hoping to find Mr.Right, get married and settled down in relative comfort and affluence. Their hopes and dreams involved glamourour, luxury and being put on a pedestal…everything Hollywood told them they should aspire for.
By the late 1950’s the campaign took on more a realistic, sexy and feministic look. The campaign still contained its fantastical qualities but modern women’s dreams and aspirations were quite different from earlier in the decade.
Feminism was subtly working its way into society and, slowly, into advertising. Women no longer viewed themselves as subjugated, feminine dolls, they could stand alone, fight their own fights…in a highly glamourous and feminine way ofcourse!
We still see the Hollywood influence throughout the later years of the campaign- when Hollywood was in love with Egypt and Ancient Rome so was Maidenform.
Slowly, the painted effects faded and the ads starting to take on more a photographic quality.
Maidenform was targeting a younger, modern women.
The models used looked less like Hollywood starlets and more like young students and secretaries…these girls dreamed of travel, romance and having a good time…not getting married and settling down in the suburbs.
By the 1960’s the women in the ads began to look more forthright, bold, confident and sexy.The Wild West was all the rage in film and T.V of the time…so we had Star Flower the outlaw on billboards across America;
I’m not sure if the following images were 1960’s women’s fantasy (maybe more the fantasies of 1960’s male advertisers)
….fire women and circus performers in glitter and satin figure hugging pants…what would Peggy Olsen say?
I hope you enjoyed these snaps.
Please drop me a line if there is a particular ad campaign you’d like to see in future posts.
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