An advertisement for Teenform Bras

How Training Bras Constructed American Girlhood

In the twentieth century, advertisements for a new type of garment for preteen girls sought to define the femininity they sold.
A vintage ad for Crest toothpaste

How Toothpaste Got Scientific Cred

Would you brush with a toothpaste for the sweet taste alone or because of its touted health benefits? The answer wasn't always so obvious.
An advertisement for Schlitz Beer, 1967

Selling Hedonism in Postwar America

The hedonism of American consumer culture is the result of deliberate efforts by mid-twentieth century marketing experts.

When Product Placement Goes Wrong

It was a lesson brands could have used in the early 2000s.
Lysol advertisement from the March 1918 issue of Good Housekeeping via via Flickr 1918 Good Housekeeping Ad recommended Lysol to fight the typhoid epidemic.

Good Housekeeping Treated Advertisers as Health Experts

Good Housekeeping set itself up as a source of authoritative advice, but included ads for “health” products known to be harmful.
A 19th-century advertisement for Hood's Tooth Powder

How the Ban on Medical Advertising Hurt Women Doctors

Intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous quackery, a nineteenth-century ban on medical advertising proved to be a double-edged sword.
An illustration of vitamin pills

How Dietary Supplements Can Cause More Harm Than Good

The real problem with useless vitamins and other supplements? A psychological side effect known as "illusory invulnerability."
television personality Garry Moore and Kellogg's cereal character Tony the Tiger from a 1955 Kellogg's ad.

Blame Your Inner Child For Your Brand Affinities

Research shows that the advertising we see in childhood stays with us for a very, very long time.
Glass bottles for snake oil and memory elixir

There Will Always Be a Market for Snake Oil

Even when we suspect the underlying root of an issue is complex, we tend to look for a quick fix.
A DuPont ad for Orlon, 1953

What We Mean By “Better Living”

How advertising used the phrase “better living” to portray big business as a force for moral good and continuous progress.