Exploring Gender Roles in Vintage Advertising

A look back at the portrayal of women and men as homemakers and breadwinners in cinema advertising from the 1940s.

The pressure on women to be perfect in everything they did was intense during this era and present at every stage in life. Household products were pitched directly at women, rather than men, and the marketing message was clear – ‘Brand X’ will help you win over that man and guarantee you’ll keep him.

The period of the late-1950s going into the 1960s saw a recovering economy, greater availability of ‘luxury’ items, the introduction of television, widespread migration and a growing women’s movement. There was a shift in culture and more relaxed social attitudes but the advertising industry continued to employ strictly defined gender roles whenever it thought they might be helpful in targeting different demographics.

Source: Exploring Gender Roles in Vintage Advertising | NFSA

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