What Everybody Ought to Know About Early Auto Advertising in the 1920’s

In the 1920’s advertising became more lifestyle oriented with the use of lavish scenes like yachting, beaches, and gardening.

1923 Marmon
1923 Marmon

An interesting twist on the lifestyle advertisement is the June 1923 Marmon endorsement by Helen Keller. The ad featured a painting by Countess Elizabeth Zichy of Miss Keller in the back seat of a Marmon driving through the Catskills. The tagline read, “I knew we were in the Catskills by the atmosphere.” In four paragraphs of copy, she goes on to extol the virtues of this “wonderful automobile.” Marmon stated, “To her its chief appeal is super-comfort and ease of riding. Like other Marmon owners, she also seeks dependability and economy.”

1927 Studebaker
1927 Studebaker

A 1927 Vanity Fair ad for Studebaker proclaimed, “The President, first choice of America’s first executives. A ‘Cargo of Value’ comes sailing home in The President, a Studebaker Big Six Sedan for seven, and America’s first car to combine custom charm and performance with common sense economy.” In the foreground is an excellent illustration of a Custom Sedan. The background might be best described as depicting the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. two-thirds of the copy covered the allure of The President, and the other one-third on equipment and model specifications.

1929 Cord
1929 Cord

A 1929 ad for the Cord comes closer to a pure “lifestyle” advertisement. It showed two women in a L-29 cabriolet in an equestrian setting with the tagline, “The Cord car creates a place for itself no other car has occupied.” Then it lists pricing for its four models. Clean and to the point.

1929 Duesenberg
1929 Duesenberg

The May 1929 House & Garden ad for Duesenberg is elegant with its illustration, typography, and embellishments. The copy read, “The same motive which actuates the creation of any masterpiece, prompts the building of this, the world’s finest motor car: unswerving devotion to one ideal…to produce the best, forgetful of cost, or expediency or and any other consideration. A Duesenberg definitely excels every other automobile in the world, in every way.”

Auto advertising of this era portrays folks enjoying the good life through their automotive choices. This was the time when the luxury makes rose to their zenith.

For more information on our automotive heritage follow this link.

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