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.
Boxes of Cracker Jacks

The Invention of the Giveaway

The appeal of the free gift has always been, for the consumer, about the eternal dream of getting something for nothing.
From a 1935 ad for Cutex nail polish and lipstick

Cutex Hooked Americans on Manicures

How a company that started off selling cuticle remover convinced American woman to paint their nails.
A trade card for Dilworth's Coffee, Philadelphia

The Racism of 19th-Century Advertisements

Illustrated advertising cards invoked ethnic stereotypes, using black women as foils in order to appeal to white consumers.
General Electric Mazda Lamps

Light Bulbs for Beauty

When electric lighting was first introduced to U.S. households, marketing departments tried to convince women that better lighting would be flattering.
Advertising Mother's Day

What Good Moms Buy

The way advertisers target mothers has changed along with the social understanding of American motherhood, one sociologist found.
Guinness ad

Why We Drink Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day

Unlike shamrock pins and green beer, Guinness drinking really is a longstanding tradition in Ireland.