After my recent posting of Bad Ads and Christmas advertising, I found this five-page spread in the January 2, 1950 issue of Life, giving a look at the ads of an era old even to Life readers of 62 years ago.
All images Copyright © 2012 Time-Life, Inc.
They mention pretty girls being used to sell, which is nothing new, since they were used in every issue by Life advertisers. In many issues Life may have had as many advertising pin-ups as most girly magazines had cheesecake photos.
Norman Mingo's Mennen ads stood out for their beauties. A few years later Mingo got another kind of fame by creating the painted portrait of Alfred E. Neuman for Mad, and contributed some of the greatest covers ever of that magazine.
Even GE got in on the act, selling light bulbs with a World War II-era cutey.
Starlets, in this case Virginia ("hold the") Mayo, were great for pushing products.
Esquire Socks used a sort of sexy double-entendre in their ads, which equated men's socks to a man's sex appeal. Personally, I've never seen any female get excited by guy's socks, but it worked in advertising.
DuPont got a whole lot of mileage selling their product, nylon, which has many uses, with pictures of nylon stockings on pretty girls. I personally feel there is much more sex appeal to a pair of nylons on shapely female legs than socks on sweaty masculine feet.