These vintage health ads are a boatload of crazy. Sure, during every one of your favorite television shows you’re likely to see at least one pharmaceutical commercial with a motor mouthed announcer running through a mile of copy about the side effects of whatever medicine he or she is shilling, but they don’t hold a candle to the old health ads on this list. Aside from the nightmarish side effects, today’s ads themselves are snooze inducing and banal; couples riding horse back through fields of rye, men and women covered in genital warts razor scootering through San Francisco – it’s all pretty bad. But after putting together this list of vintage medical ads we’ve realized that medical marketing has always been silly and terrible. Sadly we may be living in a golden era of medical commercials. Dig into this list of vintage health posters and see how bad it can get.
Gone are the days of doctors suggesting cigarettes and sugar for weight loss or ten gallons of DDT for every apple you eat (does DDT come in gallons?). Thanks to FDA protocol, medical advertising is now held to a strict set of rules that keeps advertisers from telling parents to pour 7-Up into their children’s milk while filling them full of strained meat (whatever that is), and as fun as all that sounds, it’s probably for the better.
Enjoy this list of vintage health ads and vote up the old ad campaigns you think were probably the most damaging to the world at large, then let us know in the comments if you’ve tried out the $12 Electro-Shock Belt.
So That's Why His Nose Glows!
Well, That’s One Way to Lose Weight
Everyone Loves Asbestos!
Or Just Throw Them During Football Games
Radiate Your Youth and Die Young
Use Laudanum for Everything!
Well, If a Doctor Says They’re Okay…
Your Wish Is Our Command
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Just Got Fun!
You Didn’t Come Home from the Hospital Wrapped in Celophane?
DDT Is the New Acai Berry!
We Knew We Were Onto Something with the All Smarties Diet
Based on a True Story (About Your Mom)
Don’t Black Out and Drive, Folks!
To Be Fair, the Average Australian Meal Is a Handful of Trash
Babies Are the Only People Who Like 7-Up
Nothing Says “Domestic Bliss” Like a Bag Full of Lysol!
Who Needs Trees?
Quickest Way to Set a Baby on Fire
Sounds Good to Us
Nothing Says “Healthy” Like Dunkin
Jif Diet, or Everyone’s College Diet?
Thanks for the Health Tip, Satan!
Nothing Says “I’m Not Crazy” Like a $12 Electric Shock Belt
This Can’t End Well
Why Didn’t Our Parents See This Ad?
But Would You Want To?
Don’t Use Too Much or You’ll Disappear!
As If Smoking Could Get Any Cooler
A Diet for Every Insecurity!
They Couldn’t Come Up With Something Better Than Bile Beans?
We Would Like to Magnify Our Vim…
Platter Full of Protein Is What We’re Naming Our Strip Club
Flesh Reducer Is an Awesome Band Name
How Many Chickens Do We Eat Before We’re Invincible?
Clergy, Doctors, and Psychologists – OH MY!
Before “Husky” Was Considered Hate Speech