vintage betty crocker
Aug 17, 2015 • By

Vintage ads for the ladies

Vintage ads are relics of their eras — rad neon colors from the 1980s, disco references from the 1970s and yes, speaking directly to “homemakers” in the 1930s and 1940s right through the “Mad Men era.”

As outdated as these references seem today, it’s important to remember that these women were the chief operating officers of their homes and families. They did all the shopping and food preparation so it was vital for companies to speak directly to them.

Without further adieu, here’s a collection of vintage ads from the General Mills family of brands that elicit lots of groans and laughs today.

vintage bisquick ad

Evidently, “left-over” meals were a new concept in 1938 because “clever women” served delicious hot Bisquick creations to add pep and sparkle to “below par menus.” Admittedly, the lamb croquette forest is a pretty clever interpretation of leftovers.

vintage pillsbury ad

This 1940s ad for Pillsbury Pie Crust Mix invited ladies to “flatter” and “pamper” their man with homemade pie for “papa.” We’d like to think that everyone loves pie, not just the gentlemen.

vintage green giant ad

If you were looking for “quite a dish to set before a husband” in the 1940s, you couldn’t go wrong with Green Giant Niblets corn. The first line of this ad asks, “Want to give him that happy look of a small boy with butter on his chin?” To which I think we can all now universally say, “No, not really.” Incidentally, this image is one of our most popular posts on our General Mills History Tumblr!

vintage ad

Ugh, you’ve been out shopping all day and now you have to put together dinner too?! This 1940 ad from the “Saturday Evening Post” was a reminder to busy ladies that Bisquick waffles practically made themselves. Today, we know what kind of food truly makes itself — a Totino’s pizza you toss in the oven after a crazy day.

vintage betty crocker ad

Finally, what did the ladies of the 1950s do when an argument with their fellas erupted? They ended it with a thick steak, French fries and a “truly magic of a cake” that says, “I’m sorry.” And since there’s no room for mistakes with apology cakes, Betty Crocker was the way to go! Wonder if this dapper Dan ever baked up an apology cake for his wife…

Thank goodness our roles (and advertising) have evolved and we can count on equal opportunity cakes, pies and Bisquick biscuits!

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