Sunday, May 11, 2014

1969: More Ads from the Mad Men Era

In the spring of 1969 Merrill Lynch joined the rush to promote hot new go-go stocks:
It used to be that practically all you needed to sniff out a growth stock was a good nose for technology. Xerox smelled good to some people. Polaroid smelled good to others. And sure enough, both rose higher than a soufflé at Pavillon.
Young and small was the way to go, Merrill Lynch figured, because "we wanted companies that could show dramatic gains in earnings. That’s a lot easier for Davids than for Goliaths."

Alas, go-go shares were about to collapse. Investors soon decided the only trustworthy stocks were the Goliaths, the Nifty Fifty.

US Trust must have sensed market uncertainty, for it reran one of its classic ads. Could any headline be more timeless?

Instead of spotlighting an affluent adult as usual, this Chemical ad features a kid. In current dollars the lucky lad's trust is worth way over $1 million. Would an ad calling attention to that much youthful good fortune prove problematic today? 

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