Jamie Lee Curtis holds a knife in a scene from the film 'Halloween', 1978

Selling Slashers to Teen Girls

The heroines of 1970s and 80s teen horror movies were traditionally feminine, tough, and sexually confident.
An advertisement for Ivory Soap from the Christian Herald, 1913

Using God to Sell Soap

Ivory Soap got its name from Psalm 45.
supermarket illustration

Sex and the Supermarket

Supermarkets represented a major innovation in food distribution—a gendered innovation that encouraged women to find sexual pleasure in subordination.
Starbucks drinks

Why Brands Want To Be Your BFF

Most contemporary consumers consider ourselves too savvy to be taken in by a corporation’s attempts to integrate seamlessly ...
Los Angeles skyline with palm trees in the foreground

How Marketing Made L.A.

In the early 20th century, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce started marketing L.A as an earthquake-free alternative to San Francisco.

How Mr. Coffee Made Coffee Manly

Mr. Coffee, the first electric-drip coffee machine for home use, debuted in 1972, forever changing the way Americans made coffee.
Gem Chimney ad

Can Advertising Be a Science?

Advertisers have been trying to develop a precise science of advertising for more than a century.
Photograph: a woman applying facial cosmetic product.

What Beauty Product Trends Really Mean

American beauty products were once widely exported abroad and seen as representations of freedom and modernity.
Tailgating at a football game

How Beer Companies Made Light Beer Macho

Light beer was originally marketed for its reduced calorie count. But heavy drinking men weren't into that.

Do the Hustle: How Disco Was Marketed

Disco changed the way the music industry marketed music to the public. The genre innovated an industry and changed our interaction with popular music.