Over the past 35 years I've amassed quite a collection of magazine ads, fashion spreads and magazine covers that got my attention for either their humor, striking graphics, aesthetics - or display of bare flesh. Below are five I chose from my advertising archive that fall under the "body beautiful" category.
- Jell-O. I came across this ad for Jell-O in a women's service magazine back in 2000 - and I never saw it again. It's a very different creative approach from Bill Cosby surrounded by adorable kids, wouldn't you say? The copy reads: "Punch up the flavor. Use juice instead of cold water. POW!" I wonder if it produced a sales spike neighborhoods such as Chelsea, West Hollywood or the Castro?
- Esprit. Esprit is a worldwide clothing company that's been doing business since 1968 (with six locations in Manhattan as of 2011). This ad ran in the mid-1980s. Looking at their slim physiques reminds me that there once was a time before gym culture.
- Nivea for Men. NFM is the #1 brand in men's skincare in the world and is owned by Beiersdorf, the German personal care giant. NFM entered the U.S. market at the turn of the 21st century in hopes of cracking the men's grooming market. They're still here so apparently they're meeting with some success.
- OK, who really cares what I have to say about these ads - right? All I'll mention about this one is that it's from 1988.
- Finally, here's an ad from American Express featuring big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. It ran in 2005 and combines the joys of fatherhood with surfer dude masculinity.