Monday, December 12, 2011

This 1967 Mobil ad will scare the bejesus out of you.

(click ad, from 1967, via)
"We want you to live."
But first, we want you to SHIT YOUR PANTS as you're paging through your Life magazine. Mobil is well known (among retired ad honchos) for their 1960s road safety campaign (Here's one of the more famous ones.). "Improper driving" kills and maims more drivers then any other cause? Can't dispute that. The copy on this ad is pretty novel coming from an oil company—drive less! (I don't think you'll see Exxon/Mobil running this type of an ad, oh, ever.) These days, Big Oil ads are all about Big Hearts, e.g.: Shell, Citgo and of course bp.
The Mobil ads were created by Doyle Dane Bernbach.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

npr had a segment in road rage this morning.


1:50 PM  
Blogger Vinnie said...

The Mobil account at the time was handled by DDB. And the man behind these campaigns was Leonard Sirowitz. The road safety campaign was indeed very good. My favorite headline, "Please don't get killed this Sunday. We'd like to sell you gas on Monday." And then, "Fresh killed chicken". The Highway Hypnosis visual was particularly memorable. I wish more young ad people would take an avid interest in vintage advertising. I'm young myself.

For those who want to learn more about the road safety campaign, check out the link below. It's a lecture by Leonard Sirowitz.

More on him and DDB in general here,

2:28 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Thank you, Vinnie.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know if i can handle this type of helpfulness and civility, not just here, but anywhere!


2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

awlrite, fellahs - why is that wonderful lecture (thanks for posting that, btw!) hosted on a .jp site and not on a us site?


2:58 PM  
Blogger Vinnie said...


I don't understand why it can't be hosted on a Japanese site. The site in question, btw, is run by Tadahisa Nishio, a Japanese ad man.

He wrote a book on Y&R in the late 60's.

His site includes some rare vintage ads.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The portrait was shot by Richard Avedon in 1962 of a dancer called Killer Joe Piro.

4:13 AM  

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