While Goodyear regularly advertised its automobile tires throughout the 40's and 50's, the bulk of their ads failed to impress me. They usually employed (inferior) photography or were very spare on visuals - often showing just the product and a lot of copy.
But in 1955 Goodyear launched a truck tire campaign in The Saturday Evening Post that really packed a punch.
While the unsigned ad above focuses more on encouraging the public to lobby the government to build more roads (more roads + more cars and trucks = more tires sold), the ads I really enjoy are these below, also unsigned but almost certainly done by one of my favourite illustrators; Rudy Pott.
Pott was the perfect choice for this series, which has a sort of "day in the life of a truck driver" theme.
Not only do these ads show off Pott's unquestionable technical abilities, they impress because the artist shows us such a wide range of everyman characters without that over-idealization so typical in 1950's illustration (especially when its advertising art).
Pott's work is not quite reportage... not a gritty realism (we are, afterall, trying to sell tires here) but his people have a comfortable credibility that makes it easy to relate to and like them. They seem like good, honest, hard working reg'lar folks.
I've added these images to my Rudy Pott Flickr set. Take a little while to look at the largest size versions of these pieces so you can take in more than the snippets I cropped out for you here.