Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Whatever Happened to This Way of Thinking?

Time for a memory lane retrospective.  I got to thinking - after seeing a very few television commercials of late - whatever happened to the old way of doing advertisements?  Not only were they slower paced, but they appealed to your reasoning ability, and not your emotions like the contemporary ads do now.  They also came from a worldview of definite right from wrong, and what to do versus what not to do.  Witness exhibit A, a 1951 Westinghouse television set advertisement:

You can be sure if it's Westinghouse was a line I remembered from constant exposure while growing up to its advertisements.  The whole notion of one being able to be sure about something. . . anything. . . sprang from this one lil' long running advertisement campaign, still playing strong in the 1960's of my childhood. 

OK, try one from my Dad's former company:

The most trusted name in electronics, RCA would tag in its advertisements in the 1960's.  Hmmm. . . a name you could trust.  What a concept that is lost to folks living today in 21st Century North American culture. 

Bonus round: here's an RCA consumer sales training film from 1959 made at RCA's old headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  My Dad was a field electronics engineer technical representative at the time for RCA Service Company, with Defense Department contracts to fulfill.  I remember visiting the outside of this building from time to time as we traveled by car as a family in the 1960's, even though we lived on the west coast of the United States, and New Jersey is on the east coast.


Dependable - Reliable - Quality in every TV set.  That's how this video begins its message.  In those days especially for Black and White televisions, that was very much the case given the vacuum tube technology and nascent solid state electronics cards that made up newer sets of the era.  There's anectdotal evidence that sets of this era outlast the "made for the landfill" electronics made for our current time.  They certainly lasted longer than just a few years like current television sets do.  Far longer, in fact. 

Here's one that is a real cultural gem and is pretty much lost to the current culture nowadays:

Putting you first keeps us first was the Chevrolet Division of General Motors' advertising slogan for the 1969 model year. . . into 1970 advertisements as well.  Sounds a lot like this verse from Matthew 20 beginning at the last half of verse 25:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[c] 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[d] 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

How many people live their lives with the attitude of being a servant. . . putting others first before themselves?  Not too many, I might add.  Countercultural to the "me first, what's in front of my nose" attitude so often seen today. 

The culture today certainly has a lot more ambiguity and mistrust and a whole lot less dependability and trust than it used to have.  A relativistic worldview, one fed by Secular Humanism ("Man is the measure of all things") and one that has forgotten all too readily its historic cultural pointers to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. . . the One on whom you can be sure on, and is the One whom to place your trust. . . because He put us first before himself.


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